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Published Quarterly by the 

Minnesota Historical Society 

Saint Paul 


Number 1. February, 1917 

Captain Henry A. Castle Gideon S. Ives 3 

Return Ira Holcombe Warren Upham 7 

Notes and Documents 12 
Michelle Dufault; A Lawyer's View of the Kensington Rune 
Stone; Relations with Western Canada; The Genesis of the 
Republican Party in Minnesota 

Reviews of Books 31 

Minnesota Historical Society Notes 42 

News and Comment 48 

Number 2. May, 1917 

The Monroe Doctrine and the War Carl Becker 61 

Some Possibilities of Historical Field Work 

Franklin F. Holbrook 69 

Reviews of Books 82 

Minnesota Historical Society Notes 93 

News and Comment 97 

Number 3. August, 1917 

The Development of Banking in Minnesota 

Sydney A. Patchin 111 

Notes and Documents 169 

Historical Activities in War Time; The Preservation of 

Reviews of Books 178 
Minnesota Historical Society Notes 194 
News and Comment 198 



Number 4. November, 1917 

Ole Rynning's True Account of America 

Theodore C. Blegen 221 

Reviews of Books u 
Minnesota Historical Society Notes 276 
News and Comment 282 

Number 5. February, 1918 
James J. Hill Joseph G. Pyle 295 

The Organization of the Volunteer Army in 1861 
with Special Reference to Minnesota 

John D. Hicks 324 

Reviews of Books 369 
Minnesota Historical Society Notes 374 
News and Comment 379 

Number 6. May, 1918 

Social and Economic Effects of the Civil War with 

Special Reference to Minnesota Lester B. Shippee 389 

Notes and Documents 413 

The Historical Records of the Scandinavians in America ; 
Rev. Arthur E. Jones; Removal of the Sioux Indians from 

Reviews of Books 426 
Minnesota Historical Society Notes 432 
News and Comment 435 

Number 7. August, 1918 
The Influence of Geographic Factors in the Develop- 
ment of Minnesota Chessley J. Posey 443 
Reviews of Books 454 
Mi m isoi a I IrsTORicAL Society Notes 461 




Number 8. November, 1918 

Dakota Portraits Stephen R. Riggs 481 

Reviews of Books 569 

Minnesota Historical Society Notes 574 

News and Comment 579 

Index to Volume 2 589 


Facsimile of the Title Page of Ole Rynning's "True 

Account of America" 221 
Photograph of James J. Hill 295 



Vol. 2, No. 1 
Whole No. 9 
February, 1917 


The good die not — this heritage they leave, 

The record of a life well spent. 
We know, at parting though we grieve, 

A noble life is man's best monument. 

Monuments to the dead, although of the most imposing char- 
acter and designed by the most celebrated artists, serve only 
to identify the person; they do not commemorate his virtues or 
exemplify his character. Eulogies pronounced by the most 
finished orators are but the passing breath of the moment and 
are soon forgotten. But a monument reared in the hearts of 
the people by unselfish and noble devotion to God, to country, 
and to fellow men will endure as long as memory shall last. 

In the life of Captain Henry A. Castle these qualities were 
united in a remarkable degree. He was preeminently a Chris- 
tian gentleman in every sense of the word — a faithful member 
of the church from his youth, and one whose profession was 
exemplified in his daily intercourse with his fellow men. His 
devotion and loyalty to his country were shown by the sacri- 
fices made in its behalf and by the offering of his life in its 
defence. Born August 22, 1841, he entered the Civil War in 
the year 1862, serving as sergeant major of his regiment until 
the terrible battle of Stone River, in which he was severely 
wounded. On account of this wound he was discharged as 
disabled for further service in April, 1863, but notwithstanding 
this experience and the condition of his health resulting there- 
from, he again enlisted in May, 1864, and continued in the 
army as captain of his company until nearly the close of the 

Captain Castle came to Minnesota in June, 1866, and some- 
time in 1868 settled at St. Paul, where he resided until the 

1 A memorial read at the stated meeting of the executive council 
of the Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, December 11, 1916. 





time of his death, which occurred at his summer home at Silver 
Lake, August 16, 1916. His activities since his arrival in 
Minnesota are coincident to, and form part of, the history of 
the state for that period, as he always took an influential and 
prominent part not only in the affairs of the state, but in the 
development and advancement of the great Northwest. 

In the service of his comrades of the war he was peculiarly 
active and useful. Soon after reaching Minnesota he inaug- 
urated a campaign for securing aid and an education for the 
orphans of those soldiers who had given their lives in the 
defence of their country, and he was largely instrumental in 
securing the necessary legislation for this purpose and finally 
in providing a home for these unfortunates at Winona, where 
the work was continued until it was no longer needed. He was 
a member of the board of trustees of this organization during 
the entire period of its existence and took a leading part in its 
operations. As a direct result of this great work a large num- 
ber of the orphans of these patriot soldiers, who otherwise 
might have been left in poverty and ignorance, received care 
at a time when it was most needed and an education which not 
only has been of the greatest benefit to themselves, but has 
resulted in great good to the state ; and to-day some of the most 
influential and useful citizens of Minnesota may be found 
among those who received aid from this noble charity. 

The legislation necessary for the organization of the Minne- 
sota Soldiers' Home was due likewise in a large measure to his 
efforts, as was also the location of this home upon its beautiful 
grounds at Minnehaha Falls, although this site was strongly 
opposed by some. He also took a leading part in securing the 
passage of an act by the legislature of Minnesota which pro- 
vides a fund for the aid of soldiers and soldiers' widows at their 
own homes in all parts of the state, and which has proved 
beneficial to many unfortunate and deserving people. 

Captain Castle aided materially in the organization of the 
Grand Army of the Republic in Minnesota, and served as com- 
mander of the department of Minnesota from 1872 to 1875, the 



only member of this department who has been honored with 
three successive terms. In the year 1870 he organized Acker 
Post at St. Paul and was its first commander. 

Among- other activities of like character he helped to obtain 
the necessary fund for the soldiers' monument erected in Sum- 
mit Park, St. Paul, and delivered an oration at the time of its 
dedication that will not soon be forgotten by those who were 
present on that occasion. An appropriation for the statue of 
Hon. Henry M. Rice, United States senator from Minne- 
sota during the early part of the war, for the Hall of Fame 
at Washington was secured through his instrumentality; and 
it was almost exclusively through his exertions that a statue to 
the memory of his boyhood hero, General James Shields of 
Mexican War fame and sometime United States senator for 
Illinois, Missouri, and Minnesota, was erected in Missouri, a 
replica of which, also obtained by him, was placed in the Minne- 
sota Capitol. 

In his public life Captain Castle was highly honored both by 
the state and the nation, and in every instance showed himself 
honest and capable, and well worthy of the honor thus con- 
ferred. He served as postmaster at St. Paul for several years, 
in which capacity he gave general satisfaction. After his term 
had expired, he was appointed sixth auditor of the United 
States treasury in the post office department. He filled this 
position for a considerable period with conspicuous ability, and 
at the end of his service received the highest commendations 
from his superior officer. 

Captain Castle was elected an annual member of the Minne- 
sota Historical Society in the year 1870, and in November, 
1897, while absent at Washington in the discharge of his official 
duties there, was elected a corresponding member, and was car- 
ried on the rolls as such up to the time of his death. He gave a 
number of memorial and other addresses before the society, 
and in its library will be found copies of a large number of 
addresses delivered by him upon notable occasions and before 
various organizations in the state and elsewhere. He per- 




formed a great and valuable service for the state in securing 
and arranging the historical data which may be found detailed 
in the three volumes of his admirable work entitled Minnesota, 
Its Story and Biography, and in his History of St. Paul and 
Vicinity, also contained in three volumes. 

Among other duties and objects of the historical society is 
the important one of securing the data and preserving a record 
of the life and activities of distinguished citizens of the state, 
not only in relation to those duties performed in a public capac- 
ity, but also in recognition of the work done by them in pro- 
moting the advancement and upbuilding of our great common- 
wealth. In keeping this partial and very incomplete record of 
the life and services of Captain Henry A. Castle the society has 
performed a service that it owes to the state and to the man, 
and it deems itself honored in having numbered among its 
associates a citizen so widely known and highly esteemed. 

Gideon S. Ives 

St. Paul, Minnesota 


The most eminent surviving historian of Minnesota asked me 
on the afternoon preceding the funeral of Return Ira Holcombe 
to present at the next meeting of the Minnesota Historical 
Society brief notes of his life and work, with a tribute to his 
ability and painstaking care as a writer of history. 

Mr. Holcombe was born in Huntington Township, Gallia 
County, Ohio, February 24, 1845, anc ^ was named Robert Ira, 
but he changed his first name to Return, which was the name 
of his grandfather's grandfather, a soldier of Connecticut in 
the army of the American Revolution. His parents and the 
family removed to Missouri when he was six years old, and 
there he received a serviceable education in the district or vil- 
lage school ; after the war he attended an academy in Troy, 
Iowa. In our last conversation, five hours before his death, he 
told me of having learned "small Latin and less Greek," as 
one of his favorite old authors, Ben Jonson, wrote of Shake- 

During the Civil War Holcombe served on the Union side 
in the Tenth Missouri Regiment. Ever afterward, throughout 
his life, he took great interest in all phases of the history of 
that great war, and much enjoyed fellowship with those who 
wore the blue in 1861-65, being a member of the Garfield Post 
of St. Paul, Grand Army of the Republic. But his interest and 
breadth of sympathy extended also to those who wore the gray ; 
he carefully read their monthly magazine, the Confederate 
Veteran, and collected many articles from newspapers and 
much information through correspondence concerning the 
southern side of the war. He was sixteen years of age when 
that conflict began, and, as the early limit for recruits was 

1 A memorial read at the stated meeting of the executive council 
of the Minnesota Historical Society, December 11, 1916. 





eighteen years, he entered the service as a drummer boy, later 
taking a musket as a soldier. 

After the war he resumed his school studies for a time; 
learned the printer's trade, at which he worked about four 
years ; was married and resided several years at Clarinda, Iowa ; 
and engaged as editor of newspapers in Iowa and Missouri. 
His only child, a daughter named Lillian Maude, was born in 
1872, and was married to O. E. McAnulty in 1898. She died 
. September 13, 1916, leaving a little daughter, Lillian Audrey, 
as her only surviving child. 

In Missouri and Kansas Mr. Holcombe became a proficient 
writer on the staff of various publishers of county and city his- 
tories. Two of these large works, in the library of the Minne- 
sota Historical Society, on Greene and Marion counties, Mis- 
souri, published respectively in 1883 and 1884, he regarded 
with much satisfaction as examples of his early extensive labors, 
for many counties, on local histories and biographies. 

In the summer of 1888 his publishers, having undertaken to 
prepare a history of the city of St. Paul, for which General 
C. C. Andrews was editor, secured the aid of Mr. Holcombe to 
write several long chapters of that work, which was issued in 
1890, and also to gather the data for and write its large and 
very valuable part 2 (219 pages), comprising 129 biographies 
of leading St. Paul citizens. From that date his home was in 
St. Paul, where he did much work as a newspaper writer, espe- 
cially for the Pioneer Press and the Dispatch, from 1890 to 
1905, with occasional articles in the later years. 

For the Collections of the Minnesota Historical Society he 
wrote "A Sioux Story of the War" (volume 6), the narrative 
by Chief Big Eagle of the Sioux outbreak in 1862, which 
Holcombe personally received from the chief at Flandreau, 
South Dakota, through interpreters; explanatory notes append- 
ed to the "Narrative of a Friendly Sioux, by Snana, the Res- 
cuer of Mary Schwandt" (volume 9) ; and several footnotes to 
"A Sioux Narrative of the Outbreak in 1862, and of Sibley's 
Expedition in T863, by Gabriel Renville" (volume 10). In 




another paper of volume 10, "The Work of the Second State 
Legislature," by General John B. Sanborn, the aid of Mr. Hol- 
combe in its preparation is duly acknowledged. 

Through about a year, 1893-94, the Minnesota Historical 
Society employed Mr. Holcombe as an assistant, to share the 
general work with Josiah B. Chaney, who had been in charge 
of the newspaper department since 1887. During this time 
Holcombe examined and arranged the large collection of letters 
and other papers received from General Sibley, who had died 
two years before. 

Always greatly interested and exceptionally well informed in 
all subjects pertaining to the Sioux and the Ojibway, Holcombe 
was the best qualified investigator and author whom Hon. 
Charles D. Gilfillan, formerly of St. Paul and later of Redwood 
County, could find to determine the historical facts and loca- 
tions of events in the Sioux massacre and war of 1862, and to 
mark these localities for future generations. Forty years after 
these thrilling events, through the generous patriotism and 
direction of Mr. Gilfillan and of a small collaborative society of 
his near friends, Holcombe wrote a pamphlet entitled Sketches 
Historical and Descriptive of the Monuments and Tablets 
Erected by the Minnesota Valley Historical Society in Ren- 
ville and Redwood Counties, Minnesota (Morton, Minnesota, 
1902. 79 p.). 

Holcombe's most important work for the history of the state 
is contained in Minnesota in Three Centuries (four volumes), 
published in 1908, for which he wrote the second volume, nar- 
rating the history from the building of Fort Snelling to the 
admission of Minnesota to statehood in 1858, and also the 
greater part of volume 3, covering the period from 1858 to 
1870, to which General Lucius F. Hubbard contributed five 
chapters covering the records of Minnesota in the Civil War. 
A second very important service to the state is the History of 
the Minnesota State Agricultural Society (St. Paul, 1910. 
405 p.), which is the joint work of Hon. Darwin S. Hall and 




R. I. Holcombe. This work is a great contribution to the his- 
tory of agriculture and of the state fairs. 

Through the years 191 1 to 1913 Holcombe was mainly 
employed in research and in writing the History of the First 
Minnesota Regiment, doing this for a committee of the sur- 
vivors of the regiment; but his completed manuscript was 
delayed nearly three years and, finally, after some revision by 
the committee, was published June, 1916 (508 p.). 

During his last years he was especially busy, resuming the 
field of his early writing on city and county histories. Three 
books largely supplied from his pen during this closing period 
are entitled as follows: Compendium of History and Biog- 
raphy of Minneapolis and Hennepin County, for which he 
wrote nearly all the historical portion, 179 pages ; Compendium 
of History and Biography of Carver and Hennepin Counties, 
his part therein being 262 pages; and Compendium of His- 
tory and Biography of Polk County, in which Mr. Hol- 
combe wrote 46 pages. He also contributed jointly with 
Hon. E, E, Corliss, an interesting paper on the earliest 
settlements in Otter Tail County, published as chapter 3 of the 
history of that county. 

When he died in the evening of November 21, he left prac- 
tically completed and ready for publication an extensive manu- 
script History of McLeod County, on which he had worked 
in the library of the Minnesota Historical Society through the 
summer and autumn. This last work of the veteran author 
is expected soon to be issued by H. C. Cooper Jr. and Company 
of Winona, publishers of county histories, with whom Hol- 
combe had been connected during the early years of his literary 
work in Missouri. 

Another veteran Minnesota editor and historian, Captain 
Henry A. Castle, was accustomed to call into the library occa- 
sionally to chat with us, Mr. Holcombe's table and my desk 
being near together at the west end of the reading room. On 
the last time of his calling, in midsummer, Captain Castle spoke 
of his ill health, and took a long look around the room at its 




familiar books and portraits, saying he expected never to come 
again, and a few weeks afterward he died. 

Now the Great Leveler has laid low our friend Holcombe. 
He was always cheerful, and, though having several times dur- 
ing the later years illnesses of a few days or weeks or even 
months, he had rallied each time to take up anew and gladly 
his beloved historical studies and writing, without apparent 
impairment of his mental vigor and ability. On the last day 
of his life, after being shut in only a few days by the last 
recurrent illness, he had entertained himself by reading the 
daily newspapers and some of his favorite books. One that I 
found him reading that afternoon was the ancient epic narra- 
tive by Sir Thomas Malory of the life and death of King 
Arthur. To us who knew Holcombe's friendly and gallant 
temperament, what book or line of thought could seem more 
adapted to his last hours ? 

Among all whom I have known in historical work, he was 
the most careful, anxious, and persistent to attain accuracy and 
truth. He was also the most willing to give freely of his time 
to any inquirer who might wish to consult him on any historical 

In several conversations of former months and years he had 
told me of his readiness and willingness to go, whenever the 
final summons should come; that he believed in the future life 
as taught by the Bible, and that he trusted in the compassion- 
ate Saviour for his forgiveness and welcome into Heaven. Let 
us, too, believe that he is again with those whom he had "loved 
long since and lost awhile," and so we can cheerfully say, Fare- 
well. As Robert Louis Stevenson wrote for himself, 

Home is the sailor, home from the sea, 
And the hunter home from the hill. 

Warren Upham 

Minnesota Historical Society 
St. Paul 



Michelle (Michael) Dufault, one of the oldest residents of 
the White Earth Reservation, died at the home of his daughter, 
Mrs. Antoine Charrette, December 14, 1916, aged ninety years. 
He was the son of Joseph Dufault, one of the early artisans of 
the Northwest, and of Jossette Cadotte, an aunt of William 
Whipple Warren, the well-known historian of the Chippewa In- 
dians. His father was for many years a boss carpenter ; between 
the years 1820 and 1830 he supervised the construction of the 
stores and warehouses of the American Fur Company on 
Madeline Island in Lake Superior, eighteen miles from Bay- 
field, Wisconsin. He built the mission churches on the island 
also, one of which, the Presbyterian church, is still standing. 
The Catholic mission church, which contained a rich and valu- 
able collection of historical manuscripts and old paintings, was 
destroyed by fire about three years ago. 

Michael, the son, was born in 1827 on Madeline Island, at 
that time included in the territory of Michigan. In his boy- 
hood he attended the Indian mission school. During his early 
life he helped his father by working at the carpenter's trade and 
assisted the fur-traders as clerk, interpreter, and messenger. 
He was a member of the Wisconsin bands of the Chippewa, 
but removed to the White Earth Reservation many years ago, 
where he was held in high esteem by all who knew him. He 
was married to Jossette Roy, a daughter of Vincent Roy, an 
early Indian trader, who died in Superior, Wisconsin, a few 
years ago. 

In the death of Michael Dufault the Northwest loses one of 
the few remaining picturesque "noble landmarks" so character- 
istic of the unstinted, open-hearted hospitality and generous 
chivalry of early northwestern days, the cherished love-thy- 
neighbor days, when the latchstring hung on the outside, sug- 





gestive of an ever-ready welcome to friends and strangers 
alike; when the last morsel of food or family raiment was 
cheerfully divided with those who were in need, and when a 
man's word was his bond. He was an exemplary Christian, 
devoted to his family and friends and to things righteous. He 
was a member of the Catholic Church and was ever zealous in 
his religious duties up to the time of his death. 

Theodore H. Beaulieu 

White Earth, Minnesota 


That the truth or falsity of the inscription on the Kensing- 
ton rune stone will ever be proved to the satisfaction of all 
investigators is very doubtful. The available evidence is too 
meager to admit of a final solution of the problem in accord- 
ance with the canons of historical criticism. Interest in the 
subject continues unabated, however, and justifies the publica- 
tion of the following argument by Mr. Charles C. Willson of 
Rochester, Minnesota. In a letter accompanying the manu- 
script Mr. Willson states that, as a member of the Minnesota 
Historical Society, he is "not content to rest under the pre- 
sumption" that he agrees with the conclusion of the museum 
committee of the society as set forth in its report in volume 15 
of the Minnesota Historical Collections. 

Mr. Ole W. Anderson. 
Dear Doctor: 

On November 8, 1898, on the farm of Olof Ohman on the 
southeast quarter of section fourteen, Solem Township, Douglas 
County, Minnesota, about three miles northeast from Kensing- 
ton, was found a slab of flinty rock with an inscription in runic 
letters cut into it, which, literally translated, reads as follows : 

"Eight Goths and twenty-two Norwegians upon a journey of 
discovery from Vinland westward. We had a camp by two 
skerries one day's journey north from this stone. We were out 
fishing one day. When we returned home we found ten men red 
with blood and dead. A V M, save us from evil. 




"Have ten men by the sea to look after our vessel fourteen 
days' journey from this island. Year 1362." 

In the fall of 1866 the first railroad to the north or west from 
St. Paul was completed to St. Cloud. At that city extensive 
quarries of granite were opened and large quantities of their 
products have since been manufactured and sold. Some years 
over half a million dollars have been realized. Many of the 
quarrymen and stonecutters have been emigrants from Norway, 
some with a fairly liberal education and no doubt familiar with 
the runic alphabet. In 1879 the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. 
Paul Railroad was completed to Ortonville at the foot of Big- 
stone Lake, where other granite quarries were subsequently 
opened and extensively worked with employees of like origin 
and attainments. 

In the region to the north of Kensington, in Pope, Douglas, 
and Otter Tail counties, are more than fifty lakes, each exceeding 
a hundred acres in extent, and all of the purest water and abound- 
ing in fish. There are no stones in position. The surface is 
about two hundred feet higher than at St. Cloud or Ortonville, 
where the valleys are down to primitive rock. The subsoil is 
clay, holding the rainwater and making these lakes possible. 
Some have outlets running eastward into the Mississippi ; the 
outlets of others flow westward into the Red River of the North. 
Most of the lakes are smaller now than they once were, as their 
outlets have worn deeper channels through the clay subsoil. On 
their banks in the fishing season many people from St. Cloud 
and from Ortonville have been accustomed to camp and fish and 
cpend an unconventional outing, sleeping in tents or in wagons 
and enjoying primitive life. Among them those Norwegian 
stonecutters were not wanting. 

Doctor, you are well aware that your countrymen in Minne- 
sota hold with tenacity to the legendary belief that the old vikings 
discovered North America before Columbus and that they give 
credence to every seeming corroborating circumstance. Some St. 
Cloud or Ortonville stonecutter could easily have fashioned this 
Kensington stone in his home shop from observations made on 
previous fishing trips, and, on his next trip, have taken it out and 
planted it, set out a tree over it, and so disposed the whole that, 
when the land came to be cleared off and plowed, the stone would 



be discovered and would become seemingly a further evidence of 
early Norse exploration of this region. In the higher schools in 
Norway the runic alphabet is well known. It can be found even 
in the larger English dictionaries. 1 Some of the stonecutters 
in these granite quarries at St. Cloud and Ortonville were no 
doubt familiar with the characters, and were capable, with their 
engraving tools, of cutting the inscription upon the stone. To 
some men such a trick would seem a pleasant and innocent diver- 
sion. It appears likely, then, that the Kensington stone had some 
such origin. 

While this stone was in the rooms of the Minnesota Historical 
Society at St. Paul, I carefully examined it. Its straight un- 
weathered surface, its sharp corners, its length as compared with 
its thickness, all seem to testify to a modern separation from its 
original situs. It had not been weathered and rounded like the 
bowlders of the glacial period found in the vicinity. It is said 
that there are no other stones like it in texture, shape, and scant 
weathering in the region of those lakes. 

In the fall of 1868, accompanied by William McCullough and 
Rodney Whitney, I went to St. Cloud and obtained from the 
United States land office plats of several townships on the south- 
ern and eastern borders of this undinal region. We employed an 
explorer with his team, covered wagon, dog and gun, filled his 
tin-lined chest with boiled ham, roast chicken, bread, pies, cake, 
canned fruit, and coffee, and went northwest over the unbroken 
prairie. For a week we lived out of doors. We ate from our 
store, standing around our wagon, and at night slept under it, 
rolled in buffalo robes. 

We selected fifty quarter sections located up and down the 
prairie and returned to the land office and entered them with 
agricultural college scrip issued to the state of Connecticut and 
sold by it for less than one hundred dollars a quarter section. 
To-day two or three acres of that land are worth as much as 
Connecticut got for one hundred and sixty. Our teamster and 
others at St. Cloud in the summer were engaged in the business 
of taking fishing, hunting, and land-seeking parties out to this 
lake region, and in the winter were employed in the pineries to 

1 The Century Dictionary, 8: 5273 (1913 ed.). 




the east on Rum River hauling logs to the streams to be floated 
out in the spring freshets. My observations, made during that 
week, lead me to believe that the Kensington stone was not 
brought by glaciers or other natural processes to the vicinity 
where it was found in 1898, but that it came there by wagon from 
St. Cloud or Ortonville. I saw no stones similar to it in shape, 
character, or scant weathering on that outing. 

Advocates of the authenticity of this runic inscription gener- 
ally agree that the twenty explorers could not have come by a 
route other than by Hudson Bay. Professor George Bryce of 
Winnipeg, in his history of the Hudson's Bay Company, says: 
"The swampy treeless flats that surrounded the Bay simply 
change from the frozen snow-clad expanse which stretches as far 
as the eye can see in winter, to the summer green of the unend- 
ing grey willows and stunted shrubs that cover the swampy 
shores. For a few open months the green prevails, and then 
nature for eight months assumes her winding sheet of icy snow." 2 
The whole country south and west of Hudson Bay for more 
than two hundred miles is alternately swamps and barren rocks. 
It remains to this day for the most part untraversed and 
unknown. Those twenty explorers in the year 1362 could have 
come to Kensington only by ascending the Nelson River in row- 
boats about four hundred miles to Lake Winnipeg and thence 
south up that lake two hundred and fifty miles to its head, and 
from that point, after hiding their boats in the willows, by push- 
ing on toward the south over the level prairie three hundred miles. 
Lake Winnipeg is over six hundred feet above the sea and the 
Nelson River is swift and turbulent, running in a rocky and 
tortuous channel, with a fall of six hundred feet in four hundred 
miles. No other river of like volume on the continent makes so 
great a fall in so short a distance. The Mississippi makes no 
greater in its two thousand miles from Lake Pepin to the Gulf of 
Mexico. If the Kensington inscription be genuine, these twenty 
men ascended that river, rowed up the lake, and marched south, 
leaving near a thousand miles between them and their vessel at 
the sea, which the inscription states was only fourteen days' 

2 George Bryce, Remarkable History of the Hudson's Bay Company 
373 (Toronto, 1900). 




journey back. How did these men subsist? They could have 
brought in rowboats up the swift current of the river and over 
the lake no surplus food for their sojourn on the prairie and for 
the return voyage. They could have had only the spear and the 
bow and arrows for game. Firearms had not at that time 
been invented. No experienced army officer would admit that 
twenty men could make the return journey in fourteen days or 
subsist, while traveling through such a country, by hunting and 

Ten of the explorers were found dead in their camp near two 
isolated bowlders. They were presumably murdered by savages 
while the other ten were away fishing. Instead of retreating 
towards their ship, the ten survivors continued a day's journey to 
the south, heedless of savage enemies, and employed the time in 
engraving on this flinty stone. The savages no doubt plundered 
the camp and carried away arms, clothing, and equipment, 
and watched for the return of the fishermen with the desire to 
slay them also. Yet the survivors go a day's journey farther into 
this hostile country. The instinct of self-preservation seems to 
have been suspended. 

These adventurers must have carried engraving tools with 
them through all their vicissitudes, and the ten survivors must 
have taken the steels with them on the fishing excursion so that 
they did not fall into the hands of the savages who plundered the 
camp. Can it be that among these ten hardy adventurers there 
were one or more scholars, who were skilled in stone engraving 
as well? At that early date not one man in a hundred was able 
to read and write. 

The expedition for discovery from Vinland westward must 
have been provided with a staunch sea-going vessel fitted out 
with food and maritime supplies, a crew enlisted, and their wages 
secured. Some patron must have incurred this expense with a 
purpose of planting a colony, discovering ores, or seeking some 
other means of gaining profit. The king was usually such a 
patron, and a memorial left in the land discovered or explored 
would not fail to state the name of the king or other patron and 
of the vessel and its captain and to claim sovereignty by right of 
discovery. Nothing of this character appears upon the Kensing- 
ton stone. Those explorers of 1362 could have had no other pur- 




pose in raising this stone than to engrave on it some or all of 
these details. The absence of such information can not be ac- 
counted for if the inscription be genuine. For more than two 
hundred years prior to 1362 runic letters had gone out of com- 
mon use. In the eleventh century the Roman alphabet succeeded 
them in Norse literature. Why should these ten surviving 
explorers engrave this stone in characters no longer in use ? In 
the stress of their circumstances it seems highly improbable that 
they should spend days cutting an inscription or make use of let- 
ters long forgotten in order to inform posterity of their visit to 
these lakes. 

More than five hundred years elapsed between the date of the 
supposed engraving upon this stone and its discovery in 1898. 
The inscription is cut not over a quarter of an inch in depth, yet 
it remains nearly as clear and distinct as if it had been made but 
twenty years ago ; not a word or even a letter is blurred. In 
New England, where the weather conditions are similar to those 
in Minnesota, inscriptions on tombstones exposed for one hun- 
dred years are very much effaced and often illegible. Repeated 
freezing and thawing and the action of acids in the decaying sur- 
face soil in which the Kensington stone was found should, in five 
hundred years, have utterly obliterated all inscriptions upon it. 
Volume 15 of the Minnesota Historical Collections contains an 
excellent two-page half-tone reproduction of a photograph of the 
Kensington stone, showing the clear preservation of the inscrip- 

When a seed brought by the wind from its parent tree lodges 
in congenial soil and feels the warmth and moisture of spring, 
it germinates and sends one sprout up into the air and another 
down into the soil. If either meets obstruction, it does not divide 
and part go around on one side and part on the other. The whole 
goes to the one side or the other, and this rule of vegetable devel- 
opment operates as uniformly below the surface as above. If 
either sprout be severed, the young tree may die or two or more 
shoots may start out to take the office of the severed part. When 
the Kensington stone was discovered in 1898, a poplar tree five 
or six inches in diameter was growing above it with two main 
roots of equal dimensions, one at either side. A reproduction of 
a pencil sketch of these roots is shown in the report published 


by the Minnesota Historical Society. 3 To one familiar with tree 
culture the presumption is strong that this poplar tree had been 
transplanted fifteen or twenty years before the stone was dis- 
covered, the central root cut out, and small lateral branches 
trained to either side of the stone to grow in rivalry for the office 
of the severed central part. The poplar tree is of rapid growth 
and short life, and there is nothing to indicate that this tree had 
its origin earlier than the fishing visits of the stonecutters from 
Ortonville and St. Cloud. 

Knowing of my fifty years' experience in the trial of questions 
of fact before juries, you have asked my impressions of the Ken- 
sington stone. I have now tersely stated some of the principal 
facts that the evidence furnishes, and indicated my opinion. I 
submit the case for your verdict. 

Charles C. Willson 
Rochester, Minnesota, February 26, 1917 


The discovery of the papers of Consul James W. Taylor and 
the publication of a sketch of his career in the Bulletin for 
November, 1915, threw a new light upon certain phases of the 
relations between the United States and western Canada. The 
following address of the Pioneers of Rupert's Land to Consul 
General Jones, on the occasion of his departure from Winni- 
peg in 1913, tells of the close connections and friendly rela- 
tions between the pioneers of the old Hudson's Bay territories 
and those of Minnesota, and shows the interlocking of the 
economic development of the two regions. It was prepared by 
Mr. Isaac Cowie of Winnipeg, secretary of the association, 
who came to western Canada in 1867 as an apprentice clerk of 
the Hudson's Bay Company. Mr. Cowie is well versed in the 
history of the western country and has written a narrative of 
his seven years' service with the Hudson's Bay Company at 
Fort Qu'Appelle, from 1867 to 1874, entitled The Company of 
Adventurers (Toronto, 1913). Dr. John Edward Jones, to 

3 Minnesota Historical Collections, 15: 245. 




whom the address was delivered, entered the United States 
consular service in 1905 with an appointment as consul at 
Dalny, Manchuria. From 1907 to 1913 he represented the 
United States at Winnipeg, being transferred in September of 
the latter year to Genoa, Italy. Since June, 1915, he has held 
the post of consul at Lyon, France. 

Winnipeg, September 9, 1913 

Dr. J. E. Jones, American Consul General, 

Dear Consul General : 

We, the Pioneers of Rupert's Land, an association of the white 
settlers who came to the Hudson's Bay territories prior to their 
union with the Dominion of Canada, have heard with regret that 
you are about to be removed by your government to a sphere of 
more importance to your country, but to the great loss of the 
hosts of friends you have made here in western Canada. We 
can not therefore let the occasion pass without expressing our 
feelings towards our neighbors in your country and towards your- 

The Pioneers of Rupert's Land owe a very old debt of grati- 
tude to their brother pioneers of the old northwestern territory of 
Minnesota, for until they advanced the frontiers of civilization 
we had to rely upon the annual ships coming to Hudson Bay and 
birch-bark canoes coming from Montreal for the necessities of 
existence which our country itself did not produce. Even our 
mails came but once in summer by canoe and once in winter by 
dog train from Sault Sainte Marie. To obtain the live stock 
needed for the formation of a prosperous settlement on the Red 
River the Hudson's Bay Company sent men from Fort Garry 
to purchase sheep in far-off Kentucky, and herds of cattle were 
bought in American frontier settlements and brought in by the 
early colonists to Red River, while others were driven in for sale 
by adventurous Americans themselves. 

Free traders from Red River began to go to St. Louis with 
their furs, and travelers found their way to the east in their com- 
pany. Later St. Peter's, 4 near the present site of St. Paul, 

4 Now Mendota. 


became the terminus. As the embryo town of St. Paul obtained 
better steamboat facilities on the Mississippi, its trade with the 
settlers increased, and larger and larger "brigades" of their quaint 
wooden carts resorted thereto yearly. To supplement the serv- 
ices of these carts, enterprising Americans drew the machinery 
of the steamboat "Anson Northup" across the watershed from 
the Mississippi and placed it on her hull on the Red River. Next, 
in May, 1862, the Hudson's Bay steamboat "International," built 
at Georgetown, 133^ tons register, began to ply on the interna- 
tional waters of the Red River, and inaugurated the period of 
steam and flatboating before railways reached the frontier and 
finally St. Boniface, when the whole country, except the Hudson's 
Bay posts on or near the bay itself, depended for passenger and 
freight traffic entirely upon the facilities afforded by our good 
friends and neighbors in Minnesota and Dakota. 

Concurrently with these continually improving means of traffic 
the postal system of the United States was extended, and gladly 
taken advantage of by the isolated settlement north of the bound- 
ary. In 1853 a regular monthly mail service was begun between 
Fort Garry and Fort Ripley, then the farthest advanced United 
States post-office. In 1857 Pembina became an American post- 
office, at which the monthly and afterwards the bimonthly mail 
accommodation was received or dispatched by the Red River 
couriers. In 1862 the United States gave Pembina a biweekly 
service, and a weekly one to Fort Garry immediately followed. 
The courier who carried this weekly mail traveled on horseback 
in summer, and in winter with a train of dogs, receiving for the 
round trip (seventy miles each way) the sum of six dollars and 
twenty-five cents, while the postmaster at Fort Garry enjoyed a 
salary of one hundred dollars a year. To defray the expense of 
the service between Fort Garry and Pembina a charge was made 
of two cents for a letter under one-half ounce, one cent for each 
newspaper, and four cents for each magazine, payable in cash, in 
addition to the American postage. Advantage was obtained also 
of the American telegraphic system as it advanced. 

Under these circumstances the mutually beneficial trade and 
traffic between the Red River settlement and St. Paul increased 
and multiplied annually. And this trade was practically free, 
being restricted by a customs duty of only four per cent on the 
net invoice of dutiable goods entering the settlement, while books, 




supplies for missions, agricultural implements and seeds, stoves, 
and several other things entered free. At the same time the 
American government permitted imports to Red River from 
other countries to come through in bond. 

The friendly feelings fostered by this free intercourse found 
material expression when, in the winter of 1868-69, the Red 
River colony found itself face to face with famine, caused by the 
devastations of locusts, which destroyed every green thing, simul- 
taneously with the failure of the buffalo hunt, all other game, and 
the fisheries. A relief fund was raised amounting to $32,500, 
exclusive of $8,000 voted by the government of the colony, and of 
the former amount England contributed $15,000, Canada $13,000, 
while the United States sent $4,500. And it was from St. Paul 
that the flour and seed grain, upon which the contributions were 
chiefly expended, could be and were obtained. 

Such, then, are the obligations of the people of Rupert's Land 
to the United States, and no one who has not been a pioneer in 
the wilderness can, in these days of railways everywhere, appreci- 
ate the benefits so received. Besides these, there were the hearty 
hospitality and fair dealing with which the people of St. Paul met 
the visitors from Red River, resulting in life-long personal friend- 
ships, which still endure among the few survivors of those happy 
days of yore. 

But not content with giving us the free benefit of their trade 
and traffic facilities, the American people sent into our midst to 
represent them a man who was an apostle of peace and good will, 
and a prophet of progress, who saw, with eyes undimmed with 
prejudice and in the light of science, a vision of the wonders of 
the Canadian West which have been revealed to its inhabitants 
and to the world at large only during the present generation. 
Versed in the science of botany, gifted with eloquent tongue and 
a pen which proved mightier than any other individual influence 
in dispelling the clouds of calumny which had enveloped the 
prairies now known as the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, 
and Alberta, and had hidden their possibilities for producing the 
superabundance of cereals now being witnessed, was your re- 
markable predecessor, United States Consul James W. Taylor. 

A lover of wild flowers, he himself was one of the finest 
flowers of the culture and intelligence of the United States. The 


affable and approachable friend of high and low, rich and poor, 
mingling with our joy and sharing in our sorrow, equally zealous 
in all good works for the benefit of the great country he repre- 
sented and the great unknown country in which he then took up 
his abode, Consul Taylor still further strengthened the bonds of 
friendship and good will between the people of Manitoba and 
Minnesota. And when the hour of danger came by the menace 
on our frontiers, it was he who influenced the authorities at 
Washington to order the troops under the gallant Colonel 
Wheaton to disperse and capture the raiders. 

We regarded the premature passing away of our good old 
friend Consul Taylor as a public calamity ; but fortunately for 
western Canada the American government again sent us of her 
best, and in you, who have trodden in the footsteps of your bril- 
liant predecessor and, amid the ever quickly changing circum- 
stance of the day, have been an ambassador of progress, peace, 
and good will, we recognize a worthy successor to our honored 

While unwilling to part with one who has publicly and socially 
and personally, apart from the Taylor tradition, won for himself 
our lasting respect and friendship, we hope and trust that your 
next step in the service of your great and mighty nation may be 
one to which the brilliant talents you have displayed as consul 
general in Winnipeg point you out as eminently fitted to fill with 
advantage to the country to which you may go as well as that 
from which you are sent. 

Our very heartiest and best wishes will follow you and your 
family wherever you may go, and in memory we will couple the 
friendship we have enjoyed with you with that of our never for- 
gotten friend Consul Taylor. 

We remain, dear Consul General, your sincere friends, 
The Pioneers of Rupert's Land per 
Wm. Clark, Vice-President 

Retired Chief Factor, Hudson's Bay Company 
R. MacFarlane, Retired Chief Factor 
W. J. McLean, Retired Chief Trader 
T. H. Smith 

Ex-member, Manitoba Legislative Assembly 
Isaac Cowie, Secretary 





The demand for the organization of a new anti-slavery 
party, following the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska bill in 
May, 1854, was most urgent in the region of the Old North- 
west. On July 6, in a state mass meeting made up of Whigs, 
anti-slavery Democrats, and Free-Soilers, Michigan gave the 
name Republican to the party whose formal organization was 
effected at this convention. Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana fol- 
lowed on July 13 with mass meetings taking similar action; 
while in Illinois and Iowa the same results were attained by the 
union of Whigs and Free-Soilers on state tickets. Minnesota 
was slow in joining the movement. Settlers were pouring into 
the territory in large numbers, and people were too much occu- 
pied in establishing themselves in their new homes to evince 
much concern over national politics. The majority of the voters 
belonged to the Democratic Party, but in the territorial elec- 
tions the various elements divided on the basis of local or per- 
sonal rather than national issues. On July 4, 1854, a small 
group of men in and around St. Anthony, who called them- 
selves "friends of freedom," and who had been prominently 
affiliated with the Democratic and Whig parties, met informally 
at the schoolhouse. The meeting was dominated by such radi- 
cal abolitionists as Rev. Charles Gordon Ames, who acted as 
secretary, and John W. North, who presided, both of St. 
Anthony. 5 A territorial committee, composed of Luke Marvin 
of St. Paul, John W. North, and John S. Mann of Minne- 
apolis, was appointed to call a meeting, at such time and place 
as should seem proper, of the people of Minnesota who were 
opposed to the further extension of slavery and who were like- 
wise resolved to get rid of the corruption existing in terri- 
torial and national politics by the creation of a new political 

5 Reminiscences of C. G. Ames in Eugene V. Smalley's History of the 
Krjuildican Party from Its Organization to the Present Time, to Which is 
Added a Political History of Minnesota from a Republican Point of View, 
324 (St. Paul, 1896). 


party. Several months elapsed before the committee took any 
action in the matter. It was not until March 1, 1855, that the 
first printed notice of a "Republican Convention" to be held at 
St. Anthony, March 29 and 30, appeared. 6 

The St. Anthony convention was attended by many well- 
known men of Hennepin, Ramsey, Washington, and Dakota 
counties. 7 William R. Marshall was presiding officer, and in 
the list of six vice-presidents selected by the nominating com- 
mittee appear the names of Nathaniel McLean and A. P. Lane. 
The convention approved a set of fourteen resolutions embody- 
ing the principles or platform of the Territorial Republican 
Party, authorized the issuance of an address to the people, and 
appointed a territorial central committee of seven to call a con- 
vention at St. Paul which should perfect a permanent organ- 
ization of the party and nominate a delegate to Congress. The 
committee as appointed consisted of Nathaniel McLean, Rich- 
ard Chute, Warren Bristol, Dr. Childs, H. M. Nichols, A. P. 
Lane, and J. S. Mann; W. R. Marshall was later added as 
chairman. 8 

The call for the St. Paul convention was published for the 
first time in the columns of the Daily Minnesotian May 22, 
1855. The date was set for "Wednesday, the 28th of July 
Next," an error which was corrected in the May 24 issue 
to "Wednesday, the 25th of July Next." Several days later 
copies of a circular containing the call printed from the same 
type as that used in the Minnesotian, with a letter appended, 
dated June 1, 1855, and signed by six of the members of the 
Territorial Republican Committee, were mailed to the leading 

6 Minnesota Republican (St. Anthony), March 1, 1855. 

1 Daily Minnesotian (St. Paul), March 31, 1855. Smalley in his History 
of the Republican Party, 149, gives the attendance as two hundred, but 
the editor of the St. Anthony Express, March 31, estimates that the largest 
number of actual members attending any of the sessions was fifty. 

8 The proceedings of the convention, the resolutions adopted, and 
the "Circular Address of the Territorial Republican Convention to the 
People of Minnesota," prepared by C. G. Ames, appeared in the 
Minnesota Republican, April 5, 1855. 




Republicans of each county. The copy of the circular which 
was found among the Sibley Papers, now in the manuscript 
collections of the Minnesota Historical Society, and which is 
reprinted below, was sent to James M. Boal of Mendota. It is 
addressed in the handwriting of Daniel Rohrer. 9 

Delegates to the convention to the number of 123 were 
selected by the various methods suggested in the call, but only 
94 were in attendance at the sessions on July 25. All the mem- 
bers of the committee signing the call were present as delegates 
except A. P. Lane. Warren Bristol was made temporary chair- 
man, and Daniel Rohrer temporary secretary. These two 
appointments were made permanent on the recommendation of 
the nominating committee, of which Richard Chute was a 
member. The central committee appointed by the St. Anthony 
meeting was continued for one year with Nathaniel McLean 
as chairman. 10 The platform adopted reaffirmed the principles 
laid down by the St. Anthony convention, and pledged the 
party to the enactment of a prohibitory liquor statute. The 
only nomination to be made was that for delegate to Congress, 
which was settled by the first ballot, the votes being distributed 
as follows: W. R. Marshall, 52; Alexander Ramsey, 36; 
David Olmsted, 4; G. A. Nourse, l. 11 

9 A notation to this effect was made in pencil on the circular by 
Major R. I. Holcombe, who was engaged by the Minnesota Historical 
Society in 1893 to arrange the Sibley Papers. Daniel Rohrer came to 
St. Paul in 1850 and entered upon the practice of law. He was city 
treasurer from 1854 to 1859. In 1878 he removed to Worthington. 
Minnesota Historical Collections, 4: 462; 14: 654. 

10 Daily Minnesotian, August 20, 1855. 

11 Minnesota Republican, July 26, 1855 ; Daily Minnesotian, July 26, 27, 



The undersigned, a Committee appointed for that purpose by 
the preliminary Republican Convention held at St. Anthony on 
the 29th of March last, would hereby call upon the Republicans 
of Minnesota, without distinction as to the old party names of 
"Democrat" or "Whig," to meet in Delegate Convention at St. 
Paul, in the Hall of the House of Representatives of the Terri- 
torial Capitol, on 

Wednesday, the 25th of July Next, 
at 10 o'clock, A. M., for the purpose of nominating a Candidate 
for Delegate in Congress ; of declaring and enforcing the prin- 
ciples and platform of the Republican Party of Minnesota ; and of 
taking such action and establishing such systematic organization, 
as shall ensure the triumph of the sacred and beneficent prin- 
ciples espoused by the Republican Party, and which lie at the 
foundation of all good government. 

In apportioning the representation to the Convention, it has 
been deemed most advisable to assign one delegate at large to 
each of the thirty-five counties of the Territory, whether organ- 
ized or not ; and one additional Delegate for every 300 of popula- 
tion according to the census to be taken prior to the ensuing first 
of July, and for every fraction of population exceeding 150, also 
an additional delegate. 

The mode of appointing the delegates — whether by mass meet- 
ings at the county seats or other central points or by separate 
meetings in the several election precincts of a county, or by 
County Delegate Conventions, is left to the discretion of the 
people of the counties respectively; but in remote unorganized 
counties contiguous to each other, and in the same Council Dis- 
trict, it is suggested, that a general mass meeting in the most 
populous or central county, would be the most advisable mode of 
selecting delegates. 

The Committee, in view of the fact, that the Republican Party 
is a return of the good and best men of all parties to the platform 
of principles enacted by our fathers on the 4th of July, 1776, 
earnestly recommend that the meetings in the counties, 




for the selection of Delegates to the Territorial Convention, 
should be held wherever at all practicable, on the ensuing 4th day 
of July, 1855, there being no fitter mode of celebrating that 
sacred day than by raising once more to the breeze the banner of 
Freedom so long obscured by the dark clouds of human bondage. 

The Committee deem it unnecessary to present at length con- 
siderations in behalf of the proposed convention. 

That the tendency of our Government late years and at the 
present time is anti-Republican and in a directly opposite direc- 
tion from that intended by its enlightened founders, and de- 
manded by the unalienable rights of man, is too surely attested by 
the recent outrages of popular sovereignty in Kansas, and the un- 
limited extension of Human Slavery sought by the repeal of the 
Missouri Restriction. 

That our local government needs renovating few will deny. 

That our fair Territory needs to be redeemed from the wither- 
ing blight of unrestrained traffic in intoxicating liquors, is too well 
proven by our statistics of pauperism and crime having their 
almost only sources in this nefarious traffic. 

The great danger to our popular government is, that, through 
the apathy and indifference of the masses, public affairs and the 
administration of government, will be resigned into the hands of 
selfishly ambitious men and trading politicians. The sure pre- 
vention and cure is in the People governing themselves. 

We therefore call upon every man to meet the responsibilities 
of a citizen of a country whose sovereign and governor he is in 
part. And if his sympathies are with the Republican Party, to 
meet with his neighbors and fellow citizens to deliberate upon the 
means that will best promote the ends of good government. 
Wm. R. Marshall, N. M'Lean, 

Richard Chute, Warren Bristol, 

A. P. Lane, John S. Mann, 

Republican Territorial Committee. 12 

St. Paul, May 22d, 1855. 

12 It is significant that all of the members of this committee were 
re< - lit arrivals in Minnesota. Marshall located in St. Anthony in 
1849 and McLean in St. Paul in the same year; Bristol and Mann came 



To J. M. Boal 13 

Dear Sir: We have been informed that you hold the prin- 
ciples of the Republican Party, and can be relied upon as a Lead- 
ing Man in your vicinity, to be active in forwarding the organi- 
zation of the Republican movement in this Territory. We trust 
you will forthwith go to work to secure the appointment of Dele- 
gates to the Territorial Convention at Saint Paul, on the 25th of 
July next. Do not, we beg of you, wait for some one else to 
move in the matter. If you believe the principles indicated by 
the above call to be right, it is your duty to use your utmost 
endeavors to have them prevail in the Territory and the Nation. 
We rely upon you as one to go forward and take a leading part 
in convening meetings of the People, and in seeing that Delegates 

in 1850, both taking up claims in Hennepin County within the present 
limits of the city of Minneapolis; Chute and Lane established them- 
selves in St. Anthony and Anoka, respectively, in 1854. After repre- 
senting the St. Anthony precinct in the first territorial legislature, 
Marshall removed to St. Paul, where he was engaged in the banking 
business in 1855. McLean was one of the publishers of the Minnesota 
Chronicle and its successor, the Chronicle and Register, in 1849 and 
1850; from 1850 to 1853 he held the position of United States Indian 
agent at Fort Snelling, after which he returned to St. Paul. Mann 
was elected county treasurer and Bristol county attorney of Hennepin 
County in 1852. By 1855, however, Bristol had removed to Red Wing. 
Chute was engaged in real estate business in St. Anthony, and Lane 
had erected the first flour mill in Anoka. In later years Marshall 
became governor of the state, and Bristol, after serving in the state legis- 
lature from 1866 to 1869, was appointed associate justice of the supreme 
court of New Mexico in 1872. Lane was a candidate for state auditor 
on the Republican ticket in 1857, but was not elected. See Upham 
and Dunlap, Minnesota Biographies, and references there cited, and for 
Mann, John H. Stevens, Personal Recollections of Minnesota and Its 
People and Early History of Minneapolis, 143, 153 (Minneapolis, 1890), 
and Isaac Atwater, (ed.) History of the City of Minneapolis, Minnesota, 
35, 46, 98 (New York, 1893). 

13 The name is written in. James McClellan Boal had been a mem- 
ber of the territorial legislature from 1849 to 1852. In 1855, probably 
before the date of this circular, he moved from West St. Paul to Men- 
dota. Minnesota Historical Collections, 4: 158; 9: 148. 




be appointed who will attend without fail the sessions of the Con- 

William R. Marshall, N. M'Lean, 

Richard Chute, Warren Bristol, 

A. P. Lane, John S. Mann, 

Republican Territorial Committee. 

St. Paul, June 1, 1855. 14 

P. S. — The Committee would be glad to hear from you by 
letter, from time to time, in regard to any matters tending to for- 
ward the success of the Republican Party and its principles in 
your County. 

[Endorsed:} 1855 Call for first Republican Convention 
14 Printed 1856, but corrected in ink in the circular to 1855. 


Lord Selkirk's Work in Canada ( Oxford Historical and Literary 
Studies, vol. 7). By Chester Martin. (Oxford, Claren- 
don Press, 1916. 240 p.) 

There have been few more dramatic incidents in the history of 
western Canada than the attempt of Lord Selkirk to found a set- 
tlement in the Red River Valley in the early part of the nine- 
teenth century. Much has been written concerning his colonizing 
ventures in addition to the pamphlets which he himself published. 
By far the most thorough and exhaustive, as well as the most fair 
and impartial, treatment of the subject which has appeared thus 
far is contained in the volume under consideration. As the title 
of the work indicates, the writer has not confined his attention to 
the Red River Valley enterprise ; he includes in chapter 2 a brief 
account of Lord Selkirk's earlier attempts at colonization upon 
Prince Edward Island and at Baldoon in Upper Canada. The 
greater portion of the work, however, is devoted to a study of the 
Red River colony; and, moreover, to a particular phase of the 
history of this experiment — the relations between Lord Selkirk 
and the Hudson's Bay and Northwest companies. 

Mr. Martin sketches the story of Lord Selkirk's early life and 
describes the inception of the idea of colonization, which con- 
cerned itself in an effort to turn the stream of Scottish emigra- 
tion from certain portions of the United States to Canada. There 
follows an account of the grant to Selkirk by the Hudson's Bay 
Company in 1811 of the region known as Assiniboia. The tract 
was located in the Red River Valley and included a territory five 
times the size of Scotland, extending from Lake Winnipeg south- 
ward to the watershed between the northward-flowing rivers and 
the upper Missouri and Mississippi. It will be seen that a con- 
siderable portion of the grant lay within the limits of the present 
states of Minnesota and North Dakota. 

The long and bitter struggle between the Selkirk colony and 
the Northwest Company, which is the central theme of Mr. Mar- 
tin's work, was due primarily to the conflicting interests of the 





great Montreal trading concern and the Scotch settlers who came 
into the Red River Valley by way of Hudson Bay. No region 
throughout the entire Canadian Northwest was of such strategic 
importance for the trade of the Northwest Company as that of 
the Assiniboia grant ; for not only could its possessors control the 
lakes and rivers traversed by the voyageurs from Fort William 
on their way to and from the Athabasca country, one of the rich- 
est fur-bearing areas in all North America ; but it was also the 
hunting ground from which the traders in the remote posts of 
the interior obtained the buffalo meat, or pemmican, upon which 
they subsisted throughout the long winter months. There was 
an irreconcilable conflict between the interests of the fur-trader 
and the settler, which manifested itself not only in the open 
violence of the Northwest Company, but also in the indifference 
of the Hudson's Bay traders with respect to the welfare of the new 
colony. Selkirk, however, proceeded with his plans for coloni- 
zation, confident of the validity of his legal title to the grant 
obtained from the Hudson's Bay Company, though it was appar- 
ent from the beginning that he must face the opposition of the 
Nor'westers, who were by no means disposed to acquiesce in the 
new arrangement. 

Mr. Martin has written an accurate and painstaking descrip- 
tion of the course of hostilities between the settlers and the 
employees of the Northwest Company, beginning in 1814, when 
Miles Macdonell, governor of the colony, issued a proclamation 
forbidding the export of all pemmican from Assiniboia — a some- 
what arbitrary measure directed against the fur-traders — and cul- 
minating with the "massacre" of 1816 and the dispersal of the 
colonists. The latter portion of the book contains a detailed 
account of Lord Selkirk's efforts to bring the partners of the 
Northwest Company to justice, and the fruitless and heartbreak- 
ing litigation which followed. The concluding chapter is a dis- 
cussion of Selkirk's aims and influence, in which an attempt is 
made to summarize the work of the Scotch nobleman and to 
estimate the value of his achievements. 

Mr. Martin has approached his task from the point of view of 
the scholar who is seeking to discover the truth concerning a 
series of incidents which has long been a subject of dispute and 
even of recrimination. A glance at the footnotes and bibli- 



ography reveals the fact that the author has examined an enor- 
mous amount of printed and manuscript material, the most 
important single source consisting of the Selkirk Papers, in some 
seventy-nine volumes, which are to be found in the Canadian 
Archives. An effort has clearly been made to maintain a fair 
and impartial attitude, and, in general, the attempt has been suc- 
cessful. It is apparent, however, that Mr. Martin's sympathies 
are with Lord Selkirk and the Red River settlers and against the 
great fur-trading barons and their half-breed retainers. He is 
careful to indicate Selkirk's mistakes and shortcomings, but his 
attitude is illustrated by a thinly veiled sarcasm which appears 
in his rather frequent use of quotations from the correspondence 
of certain partners of the Northwest Company. 

The author professes to believe that the principal significance 
of Selkirk's work lies in the fact that his effects safeguarded the 
northwestern part of the continent for the British crown, though 
it must be confessed that to the casual reader the reasoning upon 
which this statement is based is not quite clear. Of more signifi- 
cance, it would seem, is the fact that the history of the Red River 
colony serves as another illustration of the hostility between the 
fur-trader and the settler which has characterized American his- 
tory from the beginning. The position of the Northwest Com- 
pany in 1815 and 1816 is analogous to the attitude of the British 
government with respect to the Old Northwest between 1783 
and 1795. Too little has perhaps been said of the colony from the 
social and economic point of view. The narrative itself, how- 
ever, as well as the references to the sources used, reveals the fact 
that the writer's principal interest is centered in the political 
aspect of Lord Selkirk's work ; and from that point of view Mr. 
Martin's volume must be regarded as a noteworthy contribution 
to Canadian history. 

Wayne E. Stevens 




Third Party Movements since the Civil War, with Special Refer- 
ence to Iowa: a Study in Social Politics. By Fred E. 
Haynes. (Iowa City, Iowa, The State Historical Society, 
1916. xii, 564 p.) 1 

The importance of the role played by third parties in Ameri- 
can political history since the Civil War is becoming more and 
more evident as one after another of the propositions advocated 
by these independent organizations are incorporated into the plat- 
forms of the older parties. Students of history and politics, 
therefore, will welcome this comprehensive work treating of the 
origin, development, and significance of these movements. The 
Prohibition and Socialist parties having been excluded from con- 
sideration for the sake of unity, the material falls naturally into 
five parts covering the Liberal Republican, Farmer's, Greenback, 
Populist, and Progressive movements, respectively. In each part 
the story of the developments in Iowa has been segregated from 
the general account and treated more extensively in separate 
chapters. As Iowa was the center of interest in some of the move- 
ments dealt with, the result is comparable to a presentation of 
Hamlet with Hamlet left out, followed by an epilogue in which 
the hero plays his part as a soliloquy. It would seem that either 
an intensive study of these movements in Iowa, with the essen- 
tial background sketched in where needed, or a unified account of 
the subject in the country as a whole without special reference 
to any single state, would have been a more valuable contribu- 
tion. Attempting to accomplish two things at once, the author 
has not succeeded in doing either with entire satisfaction. 

Any one who essays to write recent American history from the 
sources is confronted by such a mass of material that he is prac- 
tically forced either to restrict himself to a very limited subject 
or to forego any idea of doing exhaustive work. In the field of 
this book there are available, among other sources, hundreds of 
files of contemporary newspapers, many of them special organs 
of the movement considered, and a number of extensive collec- 
tions of personal papers, notably those of Weller, Weaver, and 
Donnelly. The latter collection alone numbers over fifty thou- 

1 Reprinted by permission from the American Historical Review, 22: 
415-417 (January, 1917). 




sand documents and would require several months for a thorough 
examination. The author appears to have chosen the second 
horn of the dilemma, however. He has dipped into each of these 
collections here and there, and he has made extensive use of a 
limited number of newspaper files, but for the greater part of his 
information he has relied upon such contemporary compilations 
as the Annual Cyclopedia and upon secondary accounts whenever 
available. For example, in two chapters covering forty pages, 
the references to the work of a single secondary writer average 
one to a page. By the liberal use of quotations, skillfully woven 
together, the work is given somewhat the character of a mosaic. 
So far as these embody contemporary sentiment their use may 
be justifiable, but it is difficult to conceive of any good reason 
why long quotations from secondary writers should be used to 
tell a story or to express conclusions which the reader would pre- 
fer to have in the author's own words. Not always, moreover, 
is it clear whether or not the quoted matter represents the con- 
victions of the author, and almost always it is necessary to hunt 
for an obscure reference in the back of the book in order to ascer- 
tain the source of the quotation. 

In spite of these defects of organization and style, the work is 
an addition to the literature on the last half-century of American 
history. It brings together in a single volume a large amount of 
scattered information little known or used by historical writers, 
and it makes clear the unity and general significance of the third- 
party movements. Much monographic work will be needed, how- 
ever, on various phases of the subject in separate states or sec- 
tions before an entirely satisfactory general account can be 

As always with the publications of the State Historical Society 
of Iowa, the book is attractively printed and bound and has an 
admirable index. The failure to include a bibliography is to be 
deplored, and the grouping of notes and references at the end 
would seem to be an unnecessary concession to the popular 
reader. This sensitive personage, who is supposed to be annoyed 
by footnotes, will probably be equally annoyed by the reference 
numbers, which run to four figures. 

Solon J. Buck 

X 694246 




History of Redwood County, Minnesota. Compiled by Frank- 
lin Curtiss- Wedge. Reviewed by Julius A. Schmahl, 
secretary of state. In two volumes. (Chicago, H. C. Cooper 
Jr. and Company, 1916. xiii, viii, 1016 p. Illustrated) 

Until a model history of a Minnesota county shall have 
appeared, the student will probably be less interested in the con- 
tent than in the execution of such county histories as are put 
forth from time to time in this state. It is so with the History 
of Redwood County. In subject matter the work is similar to 
most county histories, particularly to the histories of other coun- 
ties located within the same settlement area, the valley of the 
upper Minnesota River. In its execution, however, this history 
shows a degree of progress, and thereby contains elements of 
promise, which distinguish it from other histories produced by 
the same company and from the general run of commercial 
histories. It is therefore not enough, in this connection, merely 
to label it "a county history of the familiar commercial type," 
and dismiss it with a recapitulation of its class characteristics. 

Among the distinctive features of the History of Redwood 
County is the presumably unusual degree of authoritativeness 
attaching to it, not only because it was compiled by an experi- 
enced worker in the field of county history, but also because it 
was "reviewed" by a man whose standing and whose knowledge 
of the subject admirably fitted him for that service. Another 
feature, especially welcome to the student, is the use of references 
at the end of each chapter to the authorities upon which the 
chapter is based. An excellent map of the county also marks a 
step in the direction of supplying indispensable aids to a complete 
understanding of the text. With reference to the Cooper his- 
tories alone, 2 an improvement is to be noted in the relative 
arrangement of the historical and biographical matter. The plan, 
hitherto followed, of devoting a chapter here and there to 
"biographical reviews" is here discarded for the more logical 
division of the whole into history and biography, a separate vol- 
ume being devoted to each. The two volumes are also somewhat 
more attractive in appearance than others of the same origin. 

2 For a review of two Cooper histories, those of Wright and Ren- 
ville counties, in conjunction with a number of other county histories, 
see Minnesota History Bulletin, 1 : 37&-3S6. 


But not a few of the old faults still persist, while some of the 
new virtues have little more than a promising foothold. There 
is no improvement in the matter of indexes : the historical volume 
has none. The map of the county, already referred to, should 
face the text instead of the table of contents. Illustrations, with 
the exception of the frontispiece, are all located in the volume of 
biographies, although a number of them properly belong with the 
historical narrative. References to authorities and sources are 
too general as a rule; for example, among the "references" 
appended to chapter 7, "The Collections of the Minnesota His- 
torical Society (fifteen volumes)" are cited without specifying 
volume or page. Other references bring out the fact also that 
the text to which they are appended is not only, as professed, a 
compilation, but also that it is a compilation from compilations, 
not ad infinitum perhaps, but to an extent which greatly dimin- 
ishes the value of the work as a contribution to Minnesota his- 
tory. A particularly clear indication of this second, third, or per- 
haps fourth hand character of some of the material used is to be 
found in the "Authority and References" at the end of chapter 5 : 
"This chapter is a somewhat free compilation from articles by 
Return I. Holcombe in 'Minnesota in Three Centuries,' and by 
P. M. Magnusson in the 'History of Stearns County.' These 
articles were in turn compiled from other sources. To this 
material, the editor of this work has added numerous notes and 
facts, gathered chiefly from 'The Aborigines of Minnesota,' and 
from Part 2, of the 'Eighteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of 
American Ethnology,' 1896-97. Information has also been gath- 
ered from the 'History of the Sioux Massacre,' by Charles S. 
Bryant, and contained in the History of the Minnesota Valley, 
1882. The article in Minnesota Valley book was in turn com- 
piled from the 'History of the Minnesota Indian Massacre,' by 
Charles S. Bryant and Abel B. Murch, 1863." A more direct 
use of the primary sources, together with closer attention to the 
aids essential to the ready finding, interpreting, and supplement- 
ing of information in the text, would have been desirable. 

Most county histories are defective in organization, and this 
work affords an excellent opportunity for an elaboration of that 
oft-repeated criticism. An analysis of the general arrangement 
of the material will best illustrate what is meant by faulty organ- 




ization. The first fifteen diapers of the historical volume deal 
for the most part with the physical features of the county, with 
conditions and events prior to the beginnings of permanent set- 
tlement, and with the political status of the region in its evolu- 
tion from Spanish territory to a Minnesota county of its present 
dimensions. The materials for these chapters are so arranged 
as to present on the whole a fairly coherent and unified introduc- 
tion to the history of the county proper. The individual chapters, 
however, are rather loosely organized. In the first chapter, for 
example, the purpose, apparently and quite properly, is to ac- 
quaint the reader in a general way with the location and char- 
acter of the county and with the main features of the present life 
of the community, but this purpose is partly defeated by the 
inclusion of statistical and historical material which properly 
belongs in the body of the work. Though it carries the title 
"Geographical Conditions," the chapter includes paragraphs on 
such subjects as trading centers, nationality, and education. 

The organization of the much larger mass of materials which 
relate to the actual settlement and development of the county is 
even more open to criticism. These materials are embodied in a 
series of loosely correlated topical narratives which deal with 
distinct phases, and embrace varying periods, of the county's his- 
tory. In these chapters whatever of continuity and unity the pre- 
ceding narrative may have possessed disappears, not so much 
because the topical method is employed, as because of the utterly 
haphazard arrangement of the topics. Chapters on "Pioneer 
Experiences" (33) and "The Pioneer Period" (41), which, 
chronologically considered, might well appear earlier in the series, 
are placed, the one in the middle, and the other well toward the 
end. Any number of accounts which are chiefly important for 
later periods precede them, and there is no apparent connection 
between them and the chapters among which they are found. On 
the other hand, chapters which do not fall so readily into a chron- 
ological scheme, but which relate to a common phase of the his- 
tory, are distributed without particular reference to such rela- 
tionship. The following chapters relating to farm life in the 
county, for example, occur in the series as follows : "Live 
Stock" (23), "Ditching" (24), "Butter and Cheese Making" 
(29), "Agriculture of Today" (30), and "The Redwood Hoi- 



stein Farm" (37), with chapters on such topics as physicians 
and surgeons, newspapers, churches, townships, and villages, 
intervening. Such an arrangement of materials as this results 
in a lack of recapitulations, allusions, and summaries, by means of 
which a more central viewpoint might have been maintained. In 
other words, the series of chapters produces the effect of a mere 
collection of separate articles on detached subjects rather than of 
an orderly, connected, and forward-moving succession of narra- 
tives contributory to a main theme. 

It is clear that a county history, if it is to be a real history, 
must be thoroughly organized on the basis of some comprehen- 
sive and intelligible plan. The question, then, naturally arises as 
to what methodological principle or principles may be followed to 
the best advantage in the construction of such a plan. Obviously, 
the broad divisions of the whole subject will be chronological, 
and the question really arises only when it comes to dealing with 
that period which is concerned with settlement and development, 
and which embraces the history of the county proper. Ought 
this complex subject to be subdivided chronologically according 
to periods, which, in turn, may be considered in their several 
phases ; or ought it to be subdivided logically according to phases 
or topics, which may be dealt with in an approximately chron- 
ological order? The later is, in general, the method followed in 
the Redwood history. Although the full possibilities of this 
method are not, as has been seen, brought out in this work, and 
may not have been exhausted by other county histories, it is the 
one commonly employed, and is therefore the one with the limi- 
tations of which students are most familiar. A study of the 
results so far obtained by its use warrants the assertion that the 
topical method does not encourage a thorough preliminary study 
of all discoverable relationships between one set of facts and 
other sets of facts, and too often leads to the writing of frag- 
mentary sketches. It does not require a rigid selection of signifi- 
cant facts, and so leaves room for the inclusion of much insig- 
nificant detail. The topical method must fail, even with proper 
transitions from one subject to another, to convey an adequate 
sense of the evolutionary character of the subject — of the gradual 
unfolding of the community life in all of its various phases. 




On the other hand, both the advantages and the limitations of 
a method predominantly chronological, as applied at least to Min- 
nesota county history, have yet to be demonstrated. It is 
believed, however, that this method might be used, and used to 
advantage. Suppose, for instance, that the chronological method 
had been followed in the history proper of Redwood County. 
The settlement and development period would then have been 
divided into a number of sub-periods. In fact, it might have been 
treated in accordance with an outline of the story of Redwood 
County which is introduced in chapter 2 "for purposes of con- 
sistent study." In this outline the "Agricultural Era," as it is 
called, is divided into "The Pioneer Period, 1864-1872," "The 
Grasshopper Period, 1873-1877," "The Period of Rapid Growth, 
1878-1905," and "The Modern Period, 1906-1916." Had this 
outline been used consistently as a working plan instead of being 
offered to the reader merely as a key to the finished work, the 
work itself might have served "for purposes of consistent study." 
Matter relating to the pioneer period, instead of being distributed 
among widely scattered chapters on "County Commissioners and 
Their Meetings," "Highways and Bridges," "Education," "Diffi- 
culties Overcome," and so on, might have been worked up into 
a well-rounded history of the county, in all its various phases, 
during that particular period. The same method might have been 
followed for other periods. This chronological grouping of the 
various phases of the county's history would have tended to give 
them a significance which they otherwise lack. Railroads, for 
instance, instead of being treated as railroads merely, might 
have been considered also as a factor in the development of the 
county at various stages, a factor with or against which other 
factors were operative. It so happens that the beginnings of 
railroading in the county were contemporaneous with the famous 
grasshopper scourge, yet the chapter on railroads in this history 
contains not the slightest indication of that fact. A comprehen- 
sive account of the period, whether it were best called "The 
Grasshopper Period" or not, would have served to bring out the 
effect of the scourge upon the construction and operation of 
railroads, and the separate or combined effect of these two factors 
upon the progress of settlement and growth. In a word, it would 
seem that a fundamentally chronological treatment would have 



resolved the great variety and extent of material into a unity 
approximating, as nearly as the limits of thought and language 
allow, the essential oneness of the community life. 

It must be admitted that it is much easier to outline than to 
execute a work along these lines. It may be that the more ideal 
method would prove the less practical. It ought, however, to be 
put to the test. And even if the topical method continues to 
determine the final form of the county history, a thoroughgoing 
preliminary analysis and synthesis of the raw materials in 
accordance with chronological principles will be absolutely essen- 
tial to an adequate treatment of the several topics — to the produc- 
tion, in short, of a real history. 

Franklin F. Holbrook 


The stated meeting of the executive council December 11 was 
open to the public and an audience of about fifty was present. 
Memorial addresses were presented in honor of Major Return L 
Holcombe and Captain Henry A. Castle, the former by Dr. War- 
ren Upham, and the latter by Hon. Gideon S. Ives. Mr. Sydney 
A. Patchin read a paper on "Banking in Minnesota in the Terri- 
torial Period." The annual meeting of the society was held 
January 15. Following the business session, at which the usual 
reports were presented, the society adjourned to the House 
Chamber for the annual address, which consisted of a memorial 
in honor of James J. Hill by Mr. Joseph Gilpin Pyle. This part 
of the meeting was open to the public and the audience numbered 
about seventy-five. 

The following new members, all active, have been enrolled 
during the quarter ending January 31, 1917: Sydney B. Dean, 
Rhoda J. Emery, Mrs. Marion R. Furness, Jesse A. Gregg, John 
D. Hicks, Lydia M. Ickler, Frank J. Ottis, Frank Schlick, and 
Kathrene S. Sleppy of St. Paul; Frank G. McMillan, Maren 
Michelet, Franc M. Potter, and Edward S. Thurston of Minne- 
apolis ; Thomas J. McElligott of Appleton ; Richard A. Costello 
of Graceville; Samuel M. Gillelan of Bridgeport, Connecticut; 
and Leland S. Kemnitz of Detroit, Michigan. Deaths among the 
members during the same period were as follows : Ferdinand 
Willius, St. Paul, November 7; Emerson Hadley, St. Paul, No- 
vember 11; Chester A. Congdon, Duluth, November 21; Ansel 
Oppenheim, St. Paul, December 9 ; Captain J. Stearns Smith, St. 
Paul, December 19; Ether L. Shepley, St. Paul, January 2; 
George Thompson, St. Paul, January 7; and Captain Axel H. 
Reed, Glencoe, January 21. 

The November number of the press bulletin issued by the 
Wisconsin Historical Society contains the following item under 
the headline "Minnesota to Have Splendid Historical Library 
Building." The paragraph was published in a number of Wis- 
consin papers. "The Minnesota Historical Society, founded as 





was ours in Wisconsin, when the commonwealth was in its in- 
fancy, has never possessed an adequate or suitable home. This 
defect will soon be remedied, however, for a splendid building to 
house the Society's collections and activities is in process of 
erection by the State and will be ready for occupancy it is ex- 
pected, some time during 1917. The histories of Wisconsin and 
Minnesota are inseparably linked together. Two decades ago 
Wisconsin provided a suitable home for the State Historical 
Society whose library at Madison is the most notable historical 
library west of Washington. That our neighbor on the west 
has at length made provision for so fine an historical library 
building is a cause for congratulation throughout all the North- 

The superintendent of the society attended the annual meeting 
of the American Historical Association at Cincinnati during the 
last week in December and represented the Minnesota Historical 
Society at the Conference of Historical Societies held in connec- 
tion with the meeting. 


A record book and some papers of the Clearwater Guards of 
Clearwater, Minnesota, have been presented by Mr. E. K. Whit- 
ing of Owatonna. They were found among the papers of his 
father, the late Samuel Whiting of Clearwater, who was orderly 
sergeant of the company. The record book contains the constitu- 
tion adopted December 31, 1860, a list of members enrolled from 
January 3 to September 23, 1861, by-laws adopted March 15, 
1861, and minutes of meetings from January 7 to May 22, 1861. 
Mounted in the book is a copy of the printed circular containing 
the proclamation of Ignatius Donnelly, "Governor ad interim " 
of April 16, 1861, calling for a regiment of volunteers for the 
Civil War, and "Special Order, No. 1" of Adjutant General 
Acker announcing plans for the organization of the regiment. 
The Clearwater Guards voted on April 22 not to volunteer the 
services of the company, but a number of its members enlisted 
in Company D of the First Regiment, and on May 22 the 
"Guards" turned out to escort them to the boat which was to 
take them to camp. 


From the Minnesota Boat Club, through Mr. George B. Ware, 
secretary, the society has received the first minute book of the 
club, covering the years from its organization in 1870 to its 
incorporation in 1873, and also the first log book entitled "A 
True Story of a Number of Bad Boys Who Went Rowing on 
the Sabbath Day." Mr. Ware states that the directors of the 
club feared that during a change of officers these books might 
be lost and that they desired to deposit them where their preser- 
vation would be assured and where they would be accessible to 
members at any time. It is to be hoped that other organizations 
will see the wisdom of depositing their early records with the 
historical society. 

Mrs. Ida W. Wilson of Cohagen, Montana, has presented a 
collection of some hundreds of letters and papers which belonged 
to her husband, the late Wilford C. Wilson of Minneapolis. The 
collection consists largely of material relating to members of the 
Eleventh Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. Mr. Wilson served in 
this regiment during the Civil War, and for several years had 
been gathering biographical data concerning its members, which 
he expected to publish in some form. It is understood that 
before he died, in 1911, he had secured about all the information 

Mr. John W. Jackson of Stillwater has presented to the society 
two interesting old volumes of business accounts. These were 
originally the property of John McKusick, a Stillwater pioneer 
of the early forties and one of the Maine men who helped lay 
the foundations of the lumber industry in the St. Croix Valley. 
The volumes contain a journalized record of transactions in logs, 
lumber, real estate, and general merchandise in the period from 
1848 to 1859. As the entries are detailed and legible, there is 
offered a wealth of information upon such subjects as the kinds 
and prices of commodities, the cost of labor and of manufacture, 
and the names, needs, activities, and movements of the people of 
that time and region. 

Mr. Frederick B. Yates of Stillwater, former surveyor general 
of logs and lumber for the first district with headquarters at 
Stillwater, has presented three volumes of the records of that 




office which he preserved as curiosities when old records were 
being disposed of to make room for new. Two of the volumes 
are a record of log marks that were entered in the period from 
1854 to 1875. Entries prior to March 1, 1857, according to a 
statement in the first volume, were "taken from a Book kept by 
Robert Hasty, as Surveyor General, and now on file in the Sur. 
Gens. Office." The record includes, besides the marks, descrip- 
tions of the marks, owners' names, dates of entries, dates of 
transfers, and names of subsequent owners. A third volume is 
a record of "orders" from 1858 to 1879, the same being the 
surveyor general's authorization by log-owners to scale and 
release to purchasers stated quantities of logs from the boom. 

A number of old account books, manuscript maps, and miscel- 
lany, which were at various times brought into court in Wash- 
ington County as exhibits by litigants who never reclaimed them, 
have been secured through the kindness of Mr. David A. Con- 
nors, clerk of the district court. Among them are four account 
books, for the years 1883 and 1884, of the steamer "Jennie 
Hayes," a boat which carried freight and passengers on the St. 
Croix River between Stillwater, Taylors Falls, and intermediate 
points. The set includes a cash book, a journal, a ledger, and a 
freight book. The last is of special interest as a source of de- 
tailed information about river transportation at that period, for 
it contains a daily record of trips made, showing the kinds and 
quantities of freight carried, together with the names of shippers 
and consignees, the loading and unloading points, and freight 
charges. Another record is that of the corporate proceedings, 
from 1874 to 1883, of Seymour, Sabin, and Company, a Still- 
water manufacturing concern in which former United States 
Senator Dwight M. Sabin was interested. The maps referred 
to show the rights of way through Washington County of the St. 
Paul and Chicago, the Lake Superior and Mississippi, and the 
Minneapolis and St. Croix railroads, together with the towns 
through which they passed and the chief topographical features 
of contiguous territory. They are officially certified, and bear 
the dates 1870, 1871, and 1887, respectively. 

Mr. Charles A. Lammers, city clerk of Stillwater, has donated 
a series of six pamphlets and books containing charters and 



ordinances of the city of Stillwater, together with rules of gov- 
ernment of the city council and special laws affecting Stillwater. 
These publications are dated 1858, 1871, 1873, 1874, 1881, and 
1887, respectively. With the exception of the Amendment of 
City Charter, 1873, which was published by authority of the legis- 
lature, they were authorized by the city council. The city of 
Stillwater was incorporated in 1854. Subsequent alterations in 
the charter to the year 1887, city ordinances from 1854 to 1887, 
and special laws from 1858 to 1887 are included in the series in 
question. Accompanying the series is a pamphlet containing 
the charter prepared and proposed by the board of freeholders in 

With the addition of ten recently acquired issues the society's 
set of Stillwater city directories now includes seventeen volumes 
covering the years 1881-85, 1887, 1890-1915. For the new 
acquisitions the society is indebted to Miss Mary E. Corson, 
librarian of the Stillwater Public Library, Charles A. Lammers, 
city clerk, F. E. Holcombe, and F. M. Welch, all of Stillwater. 

The society has received a file of census schedules which con- 
tain the official returns made by Washington County census 
takers in connection with the national and state censuses in the 
years 1850, 1860, 1870, 1875, 1880, and 1885, together with a 
local census of Stillwater taken in 1853. The former material 
appears to be duplicated by similar records on file in the state 
archives, with the exception of a considerable number of im- 
portant schedules for 1860 and all of the schedules for 1880. 
The acquired file will therefore supplement the material already 
available as a source of exceedingly valuable information about 
the people, activities, and institutions of Washington County. 

Three well-worn school books — a speller, a grammar, and an 
arithmetic — have been received from Mrs. M. M. Bolles of Still- 
water. Mrs. Bolles, as Mary Maria Carli, used these books in 
school at Stillwater in the forties and early fifties. They there- 
fore illustrate one phase of the very beginnings of elementary 
education in Minnesota. 

The society has received from Miss Ina Firkins, reference 
librarian of the University of Minnesota, a volume of Poems by 




her brother Chester Firkins (Boston, 1916. 198 p.). Mr. Fir- 
kins was born in Minneapolis in 1882 and attended the University 
of Minnesota. At the time of his death in 1915 he had attained 
the distinction of being considered among the most promising of 
the younger journalists and poets. The verses contained in the 
present collection, arranged for publication by Miss Firkins, 
appeared in various periodicals and newspapers during the last 
twelve years and represent the best of his work. Of particular 
interest are the poems of the Northwest. 

Professor John H. Gray, head of the department of economics 
in the University of Minnesota, has presented a specially bound 
volume containing a collection of twenty separates or reprints of 
articles written by him. The volume includes also an auto- 
graphed photograph of the writer, a copy of the sketch of his 
life in Who's Who in America, and a list of his writings complete 
to September 12, 1916, and including 354 items. 


The Proceedings and Addresses of the National Association of 
State Libraries at its nineteenth convention in June, 1916 
(100 p.) contains the usual report of the association's committee 
on public archives summarizing the progress of archival work in 
the different states during the year. From this it appears that 
the Arkansas Historical Commission has received from the 
various state departments "thousands of volumes of original 
records," under the provisions of the act establishing the com- 
mission, which authorizes the turning over to it of any public 
records "not in current use." In Connecticut many state and 
local records have been taken over by the archives division of the 
state library, and "under the direction of the examiner of public 
records, the land records of the several towns are being sys- 
tematically indexed, standard ink and paper are being prescribed 
for public records, and new vaults and safes constructed." The 
State Historical Society of Kansas devotes a part of its new 
building to archival work and a mass of material turned over by 
the insurance department is now being sorted. The recently 
appointed archivist of Kentucky is "engaged in sorting and classi- 
fying a large file of mixed papers which for some years had been 
lying in one of the cellars of the old capitol." In Massachusetts 
the archives division is compiling a card index to valuable state 
archives. Oklahoma now has a law authorizing the transfer of 
non-current records to the historical society. The division of 
public records of Pennsylvania has arranged many volumes of 
county papers as well as state and provincial records. Rhode 
Island has a state record commissioner who supervises the mak- 
ing of public records throughout the state. The Virginia legis- 
lature has appropriated four thousand dollars for shelving and 
filing cases for the records being arranged and indexed by the 
department of archives and history of the state library. Non- 
current records are turned over to the state library in Washing- 
ton, but the library has no facilities or funds for arranging them. 
West Virginia has a bureau of archives and history which is 





required by law to devise and adopt "a systematic plan for the 
preservation and classification of all the state archives of the 
past, present, and future." Even the Philippine Islands have a 
division of archives in the Philippine Library and Museum, which 
has arranged and indexed many old documents, and the activities 
of the "historian of Porto Rico" have resulted in the classifica- 
tion of some of the valuable archives of that territory. The 
report of the committee is followed by a paper by Waldo G. 
Leland on "The Archive Depot." All this material is to be found 
also in the Papers and Proceedings of the American Library 
Association for 1916. 

The Sixth Biennial Report of the North Carolina Historical 
Commission for 1914-16 (1916. 26 p.) is a notable record of 
progress in state historical work. The secretary of the commis- 
sion, Mr. R. D. W. Connor, reports the completion of the classifi- 
cation and filing of the executive papers from the state archives, 
about forty thousand documents, and the beginning of similar 
work on the legislative papers. Ten collections of personal 
papers also were arranged during the biennium, thousands of 
documents were reinforced, restored, and mounted for binding, 
sixty-two volumes of mounted papers were bound, and a con- 
siderable number of manuscript collections were calendared or 
indexed. Besides acquiring many valuable collections of private 
papers the commission received parts of the older records of nine 
counties of the state. Through the North Carolina division of 
the United Confederate Veterans a gift of twenty-five thousand 
dollars, to be devoted to the preparation of a history of the state's 
part in the Civil War, was received from a private individual; 
while another friend of history established a research fund 
amounting to five hundred dollars annually, which is used to 
defray the expenses of trips to various parts of the state for the 
collection of historical material. 

The Canadian government has issued the Report of the Work 
of the Public Archives for the years 1914 and 1915 (1916. 20, 
25, 255, 471 p.). The last pagination consists of a very valuable 
"Catalogue of Pamphlets, Journals and Reports in the Public 
Archives of Canada, 1611-1867, with Index." 




The province of Manitoba has established a board of trustees 
of the archives and provision has been made in the new Parlia- 
ment buildings at Winnipeg for their preservation and arrange- 
ment under the direction of the provincial librarian. 

In a table recently compiled by the Minnesota Tax Commis- 
sion the annual expenditures for historical work in six north- 
western states are given as follows: Minnesota, $23,86870; 
Wisconsin, $66,505.61; Michigan, $6,526.37; Indiana, $1,622.85; 
Ohio, $31,547.08 ; Iowa, $35,487.65. The figures are for the fiscal 
year ending in 1916 for Ohio and in 1915 for all the other states. 
The table is printed in a pamphlet entitled Comparative Cost of 
State Government (1916. 78 p.), issued by the commission as a 
separate of chapter 10 of its Fifth Biennial Report. 

The Twentieth Biennial Report of the board of directors of the 
Kansas State Historical Society (Topeka, 1916. 93 p.) contains 
the proceedings of the annual meetings of 1915 and 1916. Bound 
with it is a History of Kansas Newspapers (Topeka, 1916. 
320 p.), which contains biographical sketches of a large number 
of Kansas newspaper men, statistical notes on the counties, cities, 
and towns of the state, detailed information about all Kansas 
newspapers and magazines, and lists of the society's files. 

"The Freedom of History," by George L. Burr, the presiden- 
tial address at the meeting of the American Historical Associa- 
tion in December, is published in the January number of the 
American Historical Review. A timely article in the same issue 
is "Social Relief in the Northwest during the Civil War," by 
Carl R. Fish. This study is based largely on the mass of Civil 
War papers from the Wisconsin governor's office recently turned 
over to the Wisconsin Historical Society, and naturally centers 
around the movement in that state, although developments in 
some of the other northwestern states are considered for pur- 
poses of comparison. 

The December number of the Mississippi Valley Historical 
Review contains the annual article on "Historical Activities in the 
Trans-Mississippi Northwest," by Dan E. Clark, in which men- 
tion is made of various phases of the work of the Minnesota His- 
torical Society. Under the heading "Additional Verendrye 




Material" Messrs. Doane Robinson and Charles E. DeLand take 
exception to some of the arguments presented by Mr. O. G. Libby 
in his paper on "Some Verendrye Enigmas" in the September 
issue and Mr. Libby defends his position. 

An article "Concerning Catholic Historical Societies," by 
Waldo G. Leland, secretary of the American Historical Associa- 
tion, in the January number of the Catholic Historical Review 
is packed with valuable suggestions, most of which are pertinent 
to any historical society. 

Nicolet Day on Mackinac Island, number 6 of the Bulletins 
of the Michigan Historical Commission (1916. 32 p.), consists 
of an account of the "exercises at the unveiling of the tablet 
commemorating the discovery and exploration of the Northwest ; 
held on Mackinac Island, July 13, 1915, under the auspices of the 
Michigan Historical Commission and the Mackinac Island State 
Park Commission." The principal address on the "Life and 
Character of John Nicolet" is by Rev. Thomas J. Campbell, S. J. 
Number 7 of the same series, entitled Lezuis Cass Day on Mack- 
inac Island (1916. 43 p.), is an account of the unveiling of a 
memorial tablet on August 28, 1915, and contains an address on 
the life of Cass by Edwin Henderson. 

The issues of the Bellman for January 13, 20, and 27 contain 
a series of articles by Randolph Edgar entitled "The Path of 
Hennepin," consisting largely of extracts from the works of 
Hennepin, Carver, and Laurence Oliphant, describing the upper 
Mississippi region in 1680, 1766, and 1854, respectively. The 
articles are illustrated by reproductions of cuts in the original 

The November issue of the Western Magazine contains an 
article entitled "Glimpses into Early Northwestern History — 
Early French Forts and Footprints on the Mississippi," and an 
account of "Wabasha, Minnesota," by C. L. Llewellyn, which is 
partly historical. 

"About Buffalo: Their Range, Extermination, and Possible 
Domestication" is the title of "A Report Submitted to Sir George 
E. Foster, Chairman of the Dominions' Royal Commission, by 




Isaac Cowie, Winnipeg," and published in the Manitoba Free 
Press of Winnipeg, November 11, 1916. 

The region immediately adjacent to Trempealeau Mountain in 
Wisconsin has been set aside recently as a state park through the 
efforts of Dr. Eben D. Pierce of Trempealeau, assisted by the 
Wisconsin Historical Society, and through the generosity of Mr. 
John A. Latsch of Winona, Minnesota. Historic interest 
attaches to Trempealeau Mountain by reason of the fact that 
Nicolas Perrot passed the winter of 1685-86 encamped at its 
base, and that later, in 1731, Rene Godefroy, Sieur de Linctot, 
sent out to establish a post among the Sioux, built a fort near the 
same spot. 

A faellesraad, or common council, of Norwegian societies 
known as bygdelags was organized at a meeting in Minneapolis, 
November 17, 1916. The council is composed of two delegates 
from each of the thirty-five bygdelags in the country, which have 
a total membership of about forty thousand heads of families. 
The word bygdelag is applied in Norway to a district inhabited 
by those speaking the same dialect ; from this fact these societies 
in the United States derive their name. To each society or 
bygdelag belong Norwegians from all parts of the country who 
are descendants of residents of that particular district or bygdelag 
in Norway. The object of these societies is to cultivate common 
acquaintance among those from the same district, and to gather 
and record historical and biographical material relative to the 
members. The purpose of the central council is to form a con- 
necting link between different societies and to have charge of 
matters of common interest. A. A. Veblen of Minneapolis was 
elected president of this body ; D. G. Ristad of Red Wing, vice- 
president; Rev. L. P. Thorkveen of St. James, secretary; Dr. 
C. L. Opsal of Red Wing, treasurer ; and C. D. Morck of Minne- 
apolis, keeper of the archives. A movement is on foot to have 
the material collected by the bygdelags deposited in the new build- 
ing of the Minnesota Historical Society. 

The Old Settlers' Association of the Head of the Lakes and 
the Old Settlers' Benefit Association held their annual banquet at 
Duluth on December 13, 1916. The membership in the former 




organization is limited to those who have resided at the head of 
the lakes for twenty-five years or more. The principal address 
was given by Judge William Steele, and there were short talks 
by Harvey W. Dietrich, W. B. Patton, and others. The Decem- 
ber 13 issue of the Duluth Herald contained a list of the officers 
elected at the business session. 

Pursuant to a suggestion from the Read's Landing Association 
of the Twin Cities, the post-office department has changed the 
name of Reed's, Minnesota, to Read's. The change is in the 
interests of historical accuracy, as the village took its name from 
its founder, Charles R. Read. 

The faculty and students of the law school of the University 
of Minnesota have begun the publication of a monthly magazine 
entitled the Minnesota Law Review, the first number of which 
appeared in January, 1917. Some of the articles in the first 
three issues are "Rights in Soil and Minerals under Water," by 
Oscar Hallam ; "The Minnesota State Bar Association," by Stiles 
W. Burr; and "Charitable Gifts and the Minnesota Statute of 
Uses and Trusts," by Edward S. Thurston. 

The recent discovery among the archives of the Minneapolis 
Civic and Commerce Association of old records of the St. 
Anthony Board of Trade, including minutes of meetings of a 
committee charged apparently with the task of selecting a name 
for the town of Minneapolis, resulted in the reopening of the 
famous controversy over the origin of the word. At the request 
of the editor of the Minneapolis Journal, Judge J. B. Gilfillan, a 
resident of Minneapolis since 1855, gathered together all the 
available data relating to the subject in the form of a compre- 
hensive and authoritative report, which was published in that 
paper in its issue of January 7, and which later appeared in 
pamphlet form under the title Who Named Minneapolis (7 p.). 
The Journal of December 3 contains a facsimile of the minutes 
of one of the meetings, together with comments on the men com- 
posing the committee by Dr. L. P. Foster, who attended the meet- 

An Historical Sketch of the Grand Army of the Republic in 
Minnesota from Its Organization August I, 1866, to August I, 





ipi6 (16 p.) has been "published by the Department of Minne- 
sota G. A. R., through Levi Longfellow, Department Patriotic 
Instructor." The pamphlet, which was compiled by Past Depart- 
ment Commander Watson W. Hall, gives the place and date of 
each annual encampment, the number of posts represented, the 
total number of members reported by the posts, and the name of 
the department commander elected. The highest number of 
members given was 8,343 in 1892, since when the ranks have 
been depleted by death until only 2,907 were reported at the 
fiftieth annual encampment, June 8 and 9, 1916. 

Woman Suffrage in Minnesota is the title of a pamphlet com- 
piled by Dr. Ethel E. Hurd and published for the Minnesota 
Woman Suffrage Association by the Inland Press of Minneapolis 
(1916. 52 p.). Its purpose is "to furnish a ready reference for 
suffrage workers of Minnesota," and to this end the compiler has 
gathered much valuable statistical data on the various activities 
of the association since 1847. Of especial interest are the sec- 
tions devoted to "Early Efforts and Pioneers," and "Legislative 
Work," the latter being a resume of the attempts from 1867 to 
1915 to secure the passage by the state legislature of measures 
favoring enfranchisement of women. 

The Annual Report of the Minnesota Federation of Women's 
Clubs for the year 1916-17 (146 p.) contains a description of 
the prize gavel belonging to the federation. Peculiar value 
attaches to the gavel because of the fact that the woods used in 
its construction were taken from historic objects or buildings, 
two of the pieces being from the old Methodist mission house at 
Red Rock and the Sibley house at Mendota. 

Howe's Souvenir History of Lambert on, Minnesota (1916. 
98 p.) is the title of the third pamphlet on the towns of Redwood 
County issued by Mr. Charles W. Howe of Redwood Falls. It 
consists of a brief historical sketch, with accounts of the schools, 
churches, and business firms of Lamberton, and some reminis- 
cences of pioneers, followed by sixty-four pages of biographical 
sketches of leading business men and farmers of Lamberton and 




A new series of sketches by Dr. Caryl B. Storrs, entitled 
"Visitin' 'Round in Minneapolis," has been appearing in recent 
issues of the Minneapolis Tribune. Two of the sketches are 
especially noteworthy contributions to Minneapolis bibliography. 
In the issue of December 19 Dr. Storrs describes the changes that 
have taken place in the business center of the city in the last fifty 
years, particularly in that section which he so aptly denominates 
the "Greenwich Village" of Minneapolis, closing with a brief 
history of the firm of Janney, Semple, Hill, and Company, a 
portrait of whose founder, Mr. T. B. Janney, accompanies the 
article. The other sketch, in the Tribune of January 14, may be 
called a musical history of Minneapolis, the material for which 
the author obtained partly from an old scrapbook of programs 
and newspaper notices belonging to Mr. A. M. Shuey, and partly 
from the owner of the book himself, who has been connected 
with the musical life of the city since 1866. A portrait of Mr. 
Shuey appears with the sketch. 

The commission authorized by the legislature of 1915 to con- 
sider the advisability of establishing a state park at the Toqua 
Lakes in Big Stone County submitted its report favoring the 
proposition to the 1917 legislature on January 15. A statement 
in this report to the effect that the site is historic by reason of its 
being the scene of the last fight between the Chippewa and the 
Sioux in May, 1869, called forth some interesting accounts of the 
battle which took place at Shakopee in 1858, which the narrators, 
for the most part eye witnesses of the event, believe was the last 
hostile encounter between these two tribes. The most notable 
of these accounts are the following: "Toqua Lake Fight is 
Called a Myth," by Richard Pfefferle, in the New Ulm Review 
of January 17; "Remembers Last of the Chippewa-Sioux Bat- 
tles," by Frederick Fritsche, in the Review of January 24; and 
letters by W. H. Smith of Washington and E. J. Pond, son of 
the well-known missionary, Rev. S. W. Pond, which appeared 
under the title "Authentic Data on Indian Battle" in the February 
9 and 16 issues of the Scott County Argus of Shakopee. 

A series of articles containing material of some value on the 
Pillager band of Chippewa Indians at Leech Lake, their uprising 
in 1862, coincident with the Sioux outbreak, and the later dis- 




turbances of 1875, appeared in the White Earth Tomahawk foi 
January 4 and 11, in the form of a sketch of Major James White 
head by Rev. C. H. Beaulieu. Major Whitehead was the junioi 
member of the firm of Sutherland, Rutherford, and Company 
which engaged in the fur trade at Leech Lake from 1859 tc 
1863. He played an important part at various times in assisting 
the state authorities to bring to punishment members of the Pil j 
lager band responsible for acts committed against the whites 
and, because of his knowledge of, and influence with, thes< 
Indians, he was appointed United States Indian agent at tht 
Leech Lake Agency in 1875. 

An account of the first Swedish settlement in Minnesota i: 
published under the title "Settlingen i Minnesota — Chisago Lak< 
eller 'Swede Lake' " in part 3 of the Chisago County Pres. 
(Lindstrom) for December 21. The article is taken from th< 
journal of the late Dr. Eric Norelius, one of the foremost of th< 
early settlers of the region and the author of a reliable work ot 
the history of his countrymen in America. It contains sketche 
of many Scandinavian immigrants, some autobiographical mate 
rial, and an account of the geography, flora, and fauna of th<; 
region. Pictures of P. A. Cederstam, the first pastor, of thi 
house of Peter Berg, where church services were first held, ano 
of the old church at Chisago Lake accompany the article. 

The January 27 issue of the Minneapolis Tribune contained ai 
interesting sketch, by Elizabeth McLeod Jones, of the old villag- 
of Traverse des Sioux as seen to-day by the curious visitor an< 
as it appeared in the days of its importance when it was one o 
the most prosperous trading posts in Minnesota Territory. Men 
tion is made of fur-traders, missionaries, and other well-knowi 
pioneers who lived at the post for a time, and some account i 
given of the treaty negotiated in July, 1851, with the Sioux. Th 
article is accompanied by pictures of several old buildings datini 
back to the early fifties. 

An article in the January 7 issue of the Minneapolis Journal 
by Mr. John L. Johnson of Minneapolis, contains material oi 
economic conditions and land values in the early days. Th< 
Johnson family emigrated from Sweden in 1852, and in 185' 
came to St. Paul. Fifteen years later they settled on a tract o 




land in Sibley County on the Minnesota River opposite Belle 
Plaine, a site known as Johnson's Landing in old steamboat days. 
The son later removed to Minneapolis, where, as a building con- 
tractor, he had charge of the erection of the first grain elevator 
in Minnesota. 

In an article contributed to the Minneapolis Journal of Jan- 
uary 24, Mr. Warren Upham of the staff of the Minnesota His- 
torical Society gives an exhaustive account of the first discovery 
and early explorations of Lake Minnetonka, together with an 
explanation of the meaning of its name, which was coined by 
Governor Ramsey. At the conclusion of the article Mr. Upham 
gives his version of the naming of the city of Minneapolis 
and an account of the "origin and first use of the name Minne- 

Mr. Luther H. Nichols of North Yakima, Washington, whose 
parents were among the first white settlers of Brown County, in 
a letter to the New Ulm Review of January 24 relates his recol- 
lections of events connected with the early history and organiza- 
tion of that county. The experiences of the Nichols family and 
their neighbors along the Little Cottonwood River during the 
Sioux outbreak of 1862 are described at some length. 

The St. Paul Outdoor Sports Carnival, which took place dur- 
ing the week beginning January 27, furnished the occasion for a 
descriptive article on the St. Paul ice palace carnivals of 1886, 
1887, and 1888, which appeared in the St. Paul Sunday Pioneer 
Press for December 17. The material for the article, as well as 
the accompanying illustrations, was drawn largely from a pam- 
phlet issued as a carnival supplement by the Dispatch in 1889. The 
December 24 issue of the Sunday Pioneer Press contained a pic- 
ture and an account of the Windsor Carnival Club of 1886. 

Tales of the social pleasures, festivities, and recreations, and 
of the hospitality enjoyed by the early-day residents of Minne- 
apolis during the Christmas holiday season are related by Mr. 
Caleb Dorr, Dr. L. P. Foster, and Mr. Frank O'Brien in the 
Minneapolis Journal of December 24. Reminiscences of a simi- 
lar nature by Major Edwin Clark of Minneapolis appear in the 
Minneapolis Tribune of the same date. 


Vol. 2, No. 2 
Whole No. 10 
May, 1917 


In one sense at least it may be said that we are entering 
the Great War as a united people. Nearly every one says, 
"There was nothing else we could do." Nevertheless, in the 
minds of many, probably in the minds of a majority, this 
very common expression implies that it is too bad we could 
not have done "something else" ; too bad, that is, not only 
because it is always unfortunate to have to wage war, but 
because for the United States to wage war in Europe means 
a sharp reversal of our traditional policy, a complete renun- 
ciation of that long-established principle of action commonly 
known as the Monroe Doctrine. While we accept this renun- 
ciation willingly enough as a necessity, and some accept it 
gladly, most of us doubtless accept it with regret, as the lesser 
of two evils; and probably most of us have been somewhat 
at a loss to know what could be the meaning of President 
Wilson's statement that in entering the war we are not really 
renouncing but only extending the Monroe Doctrine. The 
average hard-headed citizen has doubtless said to himself, 
"That is only one of Mr. Wilson's fine phrases, an expression 
of his idealism." 

If the Monroe Doctrine means no more than it seems on the 
surface to mean, President Wilson's statement is indeed only 
a phrase, and not a very fine one at that. Superficially inter- 
preted, the Monroe Doctrine seems to mean that since we are 
isolated and provincial in a geographical sense, we will be so 
politically. Possessed of a rich and easily defended country, 
we will ask no favors of Europe and will concede her none. 
"What have we to do with abroad?" Nothing. We mind our 
business, and respectfully ask Europe to mind hers. We are 
in the fortunate position of Little Jack Horner : having got, by 
our own efforts and the favor of Providence, an excellent 
Christmas pie, we have only to sit in our corner and eat it. 





Now and then, for the edification of less happy peoples, we may 
very well pull out a plum and say : "Do you see? This is our 
plum. You eat your plum and we will eat our plum ; but you 
must agree, since we have got such a fine one, that we are a 
very superior people." Now Mr. Wilson, whether his purpose 
be to get some of Europe's plum or only to give her some of 
ours, is clearly asking us to give up this attitude. He requires 
us to come out of our corner. 

It is possible, however, that our motives in adopting the 
Monroe Doctrine may have been inspired by something more 
estimable than those of Little Jack Horner, something more 
justifiable than the mere narrow provincialism and petty selfish- 
ness of a people intent only upon being undisturbed in the pur- 
suit of material well-being; in which case Mr. Wilson may be 
right after all in saying that in entering the European war we 
are not renouncing but only extending the Monroe Doc- 
trine. But if that is so, then this doctrine must mean some- 
thing more than it seems on the surface to mean. A consid- 
eration of the circumstances which gave rise to the Monroe 
Doctrine will in fact show, I think, that it was the expression 
of something more peculiarly American, of something far more 
important for America and for the world than any mere 
geographical or political isolation. 

The policy embodied in the Monroe Doctrine was first clearly 
expressed by Washington. At that time the United States had 
but recently and with great difficulty won its independence 
from Great Britain. The war for independence was justified 
on the principle that all men have equal rights to life, liberty, 
and the pursuit of happiness, and that accordingly all just gov- 
ernments derive their sanction from the consent of the gov- 
erned. When independence was won, the government of the 
United States was founded upon that principle ; and from that 
day to this the guiding ideal of our political and social life has 
been the right of the people to govern themselves and the obli- 
gation of the people to assure, so far as possible, equal oppor- 
tunity to all citizens. In its origin and in its history the United 


States had stood for this or it has stood for nothing. Our 
whole social enterprise has been, in the estimation of Europe 
rather more than of America, an experiment in democracy on 
a large scale, the most momentous attempt in the history of 
the world to determine whether government of the people, by 
the people, and for the people might endure permanently. 

In the days of Washington this venture of the United States 
was a fairly novel one, with no brilliant prospects of ultimate 
success. The newly established government was feeble, the 
country was loaded with debt, and public opinion was divided 
over the double danger of political anarchy and executive 
tyranny. Able men in America and in Europe believed that 
the United States must sooner or later surrender either its 
independence or its free government; that its feeble govern- 
ment must either give place to a strong monarchy or in self- 
defense be drawn into the system of European alliances and so 
lose the better part of independence. The opposition in the 
country between the Federalists and the Republican followers 
of Jefferson was greatly intensified and embittered by the 
French Revolution; while the European wars made it difficult 
and at last impossible for the United States to maintain its 
neutrality and at the same time defend its rights. After sub- 
mitting to repeated humiliations, after resorting to every meas- 
ure short of war, the United States at last fought with Eng- 
land the war which is sometimes called the second war of 

The policy of the United States during this period found 
classic expression in the famous Farewell Address of President 
Washington. "The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to 
foreign Nations, is, in extending our commercial relations, to 
have with them as little Political connection as possible. — 
. . . Europe has a set of primary interests, which to us 
have none, or a very remote relation. — Hence she must be 
engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are 
essentially foreign to our concerns. — Hence therefore it must 
be unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties in the 




ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combina- 
tions and collisions of her friendships, or enmities. . . . If we 
remain one People, under an efficient government, the period 
is not far off, when . . . belligerent nations, under the impos- 
sibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard 
the giving us provocation ; when we may choose peace or war, 
as our interests guided by our justice shall counsel. — Why 
forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? — . . . 
Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of 
Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of Euro- 
pean ambition, rivalship, interest, humour, or caprice ?" 

To understand why Washington so strongly urged this pol- 
icy one must read the entire Farewell Address. It will then be 
clear that the danger which engaged him most was the danger 
of internal division. The principal part of the address is con- 
cerned with pointing out those evils which threatened to dis- 
solve the union and to place the stamp of failure on the newly 
established federal government. To prevent this greatest of 
calamities he urged his countrymen to renounce those class 
enmities and sectional and party rivalries that were likely to 
weaken the union of the states; and it was precisely because 
he felt that entangling alliances abroad would endanger the 
union and undermine free government that he wished to avoid 
such alliances. "How many opportunities do they [exagger- 
ated attachments or hostilities to foreign nations] afford to 
tamper with domestic factions, to practise the arts of seduction, 
to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public coun- 
cils ! . . . Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence, I 
conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens, the jealousy of a 
free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and 
experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most bane- 
ful foes of Republican Government. — But that jealousy to be 
useful must be impartial ; else it becomes the instrument of the 
very influence to be avoided, instead of a defence against it." 

The situation which gave rise to President Monroe's famous 
message in 1823 was in some respects different from that which 


confronted Washington and Jefferson. The government of 
the United States had become well established, the people were 
conscious of their power and wedded to their institutions. At 
the same time republican governments were being rapidly 
established in South America, where the revolted Spanish col- 
onies had already practically won independence. In Europe, 
on the other hand, the public policy of the Great Powers was 
guided by reactionary ideals. After 1815 the chief aim of the 
principal states was to prevent a repetition of the stupendous 
conflicts which had characterized the Napoleonic era. To pre- 
serve the peace of Europe, in the opinion of Metternich, who 
was the guiding spirit, at least after 1818, of the Concert of 
Europe, it was necessary to maintain the existing political sys- 
tem. The chief danger to the existing political system was 
manifestly those republican theories spread abroad by the 
American and the French revolutions. It was therefore the 
duty of the Great Powers to act in concert in the suppression 
of all revolutions intended to propagate or establish republi- 
can institutions. And, in fact, at the Congress of Verona the 
four powers of Austria, Prussia, Russia, and France resolved 
that since "the system of representative government is equally 
as incompatible with monarchical principles as the maxim of 
the sovereignty of the people is with the divine right," they 
would bind themselves "mutually, in the most solemn manner, 
to use all their efforts to put an end to the system of repre- 
sentative governments, in whatever country it may exist in 
Europe, and to prevent its being introduced in those countries 
where it is not yet known." On these grounds revolutions in 
Italy were suppressed by Austria, France was given a free 
hand in restoring the Bourbons to the Spanish throne, and it 
was a mooted question whether the concerted powers had not 
bound themselves to suppress the South American republics and 
return them as colonies to Spain. 

Under these circumstances the United States again declared 
its intention not to become implicated in the European system 
of alliances. In 1820, in an interview with Stratford Canning, 




the English minister to the United States, Secretary Adams 
declared that "the European alliance . . . had . . . regu- 
lated the affairs of all Europe without ever calling the United 
States to their consultations. It was best for both parties that 
they should continue to do so; for if the United States should 
become a member of the body they would . . . bring to it 
some principles not congenial to those of the other members, 
and those principles would lead to discussions tending to dis- 
cord rather than to harmony." But, in view of the threatened 
intervention of the European powers in South America, an 
intervention based avowedly upon hostility to republican insti- 
tutions, President Monroe declared in his message of 1823 
(the ideas were those of Adams more than of the president) 
that the "peace and happiness" of the United States would be 
endangered if the "allied powers should extend their political 
system" to any portion of the American continent. "The polit- 
ical system of the allied powers," he said, "is essentially differ- 
ent . . . from that of America. This difference proceeds 
from that which exists in their respective governments. And 
to the defence of our own, which has been achieved by the 
loss of so much blood and treasure, and matured by the wis- 
dom of their most enlightened citizens . . . this whole nation 
is devoted." 

It is to be observed that neither Washington nor Monroe 
supposed that Europe and America should have nothing to do 
with each other; the main point was that the United States 
would not enter into the European system of alliances, and 
would oppose the extension of the European political system to 
this continent. The most notable attempt to extend the politi- 
cal system of Europe to America occurred during the Civil 
War, when Emperor Napoleon III, by means of the French 
army, established an Austrian prince in Mexico on the ruins 
of her former republican institutions. Against this enterprise 
the United States protested vigorously ; and the grounds of this 
protest were clearly stated by Secretary Seward in 1865. 
"The real cause of our national discontent is, that the French 


army which is now in Mexico is invading a domestic repub- 
lican government there which was established by her people 
. . . for the avowed purpose of suppressing it and establish- 
ing upon its ruins a foreign monarchical government, whose 
presence there, so long as it should endure, could not but be 
regarded by the people of the United States as injurious and 
menacing to their own chosen and endeared republican insti- 
tutions. . . . The people of every State on the American 
continent have a right to secure for themselves a republican 
government if they choose, and . . . interference by foreign 
states to prevent the enjoyment of such institutions deliberately 
established is wrongful, and in its effects antagonistical to the 
free and popular form of government existing in the United 

It can not of course be maintained that the United States has 
invariably acted with chastened purposes and worthy aims, or 
that it has never invoked the Monroe Doctrine except for the 
disinterested and ideal purpose of defending democratic insti- 
tutions. Nor can it be denied that the policy embodied in the 
Monroe Doctrine has been an expression of our material inter- 
ests. The historical process does not occur in a vacuum; the 
motives of individuals or of peoples are not pigeonholed. The 
Monroe Doctrine is based upon material interests precisely as 
much or as little as democracy itself. It may be safely said, 
however, that in the crucial instances of the formulation of the 
Monroe Doctrine one essential and determining influence has 
been the incompatibility of European and American political 
institutions and ideals ; and fundamentally our policy has been 
to protest against the extension of the European political sys- 
tem to America because, on account of that incompatibility, 
such an extension would endanger our institutions as well as 
our interests. In this sense the Monroe Doctrine has been 
the expression of that most deep-seated of American instincts, 
the attachment to free government and democratic social insti- 
tutions. It is as if we had said to Europe : "We are bound 
that this great experiment in democracy shall have a fair 




chance. It may fail in the end. If so, let it at least be clearly 
demonstrated that the failure is due to inherent weaknesses and 
not to external interference. We propose, if it be a possible 
thing, to make this part of the world at least safe for democ- 

If this is the essential meaning of the Monroe Doctrine, 
is there anything in it which should restrain us from joining 
the Allies against Germany? If this is its essential meaning, 
are we not on the contrary committed by it to join the Allies 
against Germany? With the progress of the Great War it 
has become as clear as day that the vital issue in this stu- 
pendous struggle is whether democratic and peaceful, or auto- 
cratic and military, ideals are to shape the future destinies of 
Europe. Few Americans deny that a decisive victory for 
Germany would be an irremediable defeat for democracy. Can 
it be supposed, then, that such a defeat for democracy in 
Europe would not be a menace to democracy in America? 
Clearly not. A triumphant Germany would be more ominous 
than the Holy Alliance ever was; England defeated would be 
a more fatal reverse for the United States in 1917 than the 
restoration of the South American republics to Spain would 
have been in 1823. For a hundred years we have asked, and 
not in vain, that Europe should leave America free to try 
the great experiment in free government. Now that the better 
part of Europe is engaged in a desperate and uncertain struggle 
for the preservation of the very ideals of which we have been 
hitherto the professed champion, it is the part of wisdom as 
well as highly fitting that we should have our share in making 
the world safe for democracy. I can not think that in pledging 
our lives and our fortunes to bring about that fortunate event 
the people of the United States, whose country was "conceived 
in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are 
created equal," can be in serious danger of departing from 
their profoundest traditions. 

Carl Becker 

The University of Minnesota 


Historical field work, as considered in this paper, is a form 
of organized historical effort which, in middle western com- 
munities at least, has only of late years achieved the dignity 
of a distinctive name. Historical societies and institutions 
have always engaged more or less in field activities, but field 
work, that is, systematic attempts to exhaust all the practical 
possibilities in this direction, is a recent development. So 
defined, field work has to do with the thoroughgoing conserva- 
tion of the vast, yet unexplored or neglected, historical 
resources which abound, widely scattered, in every community. 
Its immediate object is to make known and permanently acces- 
sible, preferably in public depositories, all the discoverable 
materials of history in a community. Its ultimate aim must be 
to arouse the interest and to secure the cooperation of the com- 
munity itself. Its successful prosecution, particularly at the 
beginning, requires the services of special workers whose busi- 
ness it is to go afield into the community highways and byways 
in search of the hidden document and of the citizen indifferent 
to the value of historical work, and to compel them, as it were, 
to come in. Its ideal is a community placed in permanent pos- 
session of all its historical treasures and made permanently 
mindful of their value. 

Among the most potent of the factors which are serving to 
call attention to field work and to spur societies to serious 
effort in its prosecution, is the influence of changes which are 
taking place in our conceptions of history and of the function 
of historical societies. The demands of history, as we are com- 

1 Read in part at the stated meeting of the executive council of the 
Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, April 9, 1917, and at the tenth 
annual meeting of the Mississippi Valley Historical Association, Chi- 
cago, April 26-28, 1917. 





ing to conceive it, greatly increase the variety and extent of the 
materials necessary to its production. The "vast ongoing com- 
mon life" of a community, as one writer has expressed it, as 
well as the careers of outstanding individuals, must be repre- 
sented among the sources. The thousand and one insignificant 
traces and indications of widespread movements and condi- 
tions must not be neglected for the one or two records of 
important events. No phase of the community life, whether it 
be political, social, economic, or otherwise, can be overlooked. 
Every period must be regarded as in its way equally important 
with other periods, and the present must be looked upon as a 
future past. In other words, there is a new realization of the 
fact that the ideal history of any community must await the 
accumulation, or at least the bringing to light, of all discover- 
able material relating to the life of that community. There is 
a new consciousness of the incompleteness of sources now avail- 
able. There is a new sense of the importance of a service 
which historical societies have long since undertaken to per- 
form. Less now than ever can these societies render that serv- 
ice by taking a receptive attitude or by merely making occa- 
sional forays into the field, because much of the newly desired 
material is especially liable to destruction. Active and exten- 
sive campaigns of search and education in the field are there- 
fore plainly necessary. 

The conviction that this work ought to be done, as well as 
the hope that it can be done, are both immensely reinforced by 
the growing belief that the adequate performance of this and 
of related tasks is a social duty which historical societies owe to 
their communities and which communities owe to themselves. 
The conception of such societies as performing a definite and 
necessary social function not only gives new force to their 
obligations but also enables them to appeal more confidently 
for the cooperation of the people whom they serve. Com- 
munities, as such, have already recognized the community- 
wide importance of historical activity to the extent of accord- 
ing to it varying degrees of sanction and of financial support. 




The citizens of a community also, as individuals, may be 
brought to assist in the actual doing of work — especially that 
of collecting materials — which their responsible agents, no mat- 
ter how well endowed, can not accomplish without their help. 

Important beginnings of field work have been made in a 
number of Mississippi Valley states, notably in Illinois, Michi- 
gan, and Minnesota. In each of these states representatives of 
central agencies have engaged in field activities of state-wide 
scope. These efforts have varied in immediate purpose and in 
method, but all point to the same general end. As the most 
recently undertaken, the work in Minnesota includes all the 
significant types of field activity thus far developed in the mid- 
dle west. An account of the plans, results, and prospects in the 
Minnesota field may serve to indicate some of the possibilities 
of systematic field work in general. 

The work in Minnesota was begun in September, 1916, with 
the appointment by the Minnesota Historical Society of a field 
agent, who was to devote his time to work for the society in 
various parts of the state. The plan was that the agent should 
ultimately visit each county and while there make an inventory 
of the county archives, search for material of historical value 
in private hands, securing the same for the society whenever 
possible, and, finally, encourage in every possible way local his- 
torical activity. His work has from the first centered upon 
the definite task of inventorying the county archives. The pur- 
suit of other objects was to depend somewhat upon develop- 
ments in the field ; but the results of the more tentative efforts 
have been so encouraging and so many new possibilities have 
arisen that much time has been spent in each county visited, 
and that, too, at the county seat alone, work in other parts of 
the county having been temporarily postponed. 2 

2 Up to May 1, 1917, the county seats of Anoka, Sherburne, Mille 
Lacs, Washington, and Isanti counties have been visited. Some time 
has been devoted to field activities in St. Paul and Minneapolis also, 
and to the discharge, at society headquarters, of duties connected with 
field work in general. 




The work on the county archives is being conducted along 
the lines followed in the recent survey of the Illinois county 
records. In the first place, the archives are inventoried; that 
is, such notes are taken on the character and extent of the 
records as will furnish the data for all-inclusive and descriptive 
lists showing the research worker what sort of information he 
may expect to find in the several depositories. It is the inten- 
tion that this survey will be conducted in all the counties, 
and that the final result of this part of the work will be a much- 
needed guidebook to the county records of the state. In 
connection with each inventory facts relating to the condition of 
the records and to methods of keeping and preserving them 
are noted also, for upon these factors much of the present and 
future usefulness of the archives for both administrative and 
historical purposes obviously depends. The information thus 
gathered will serve as a basis for outlining and urging the 
enactment of such remedial measures as will then appear to be 

The condition of affairs in Minnesota, as revealed in the 
five counties visited, is similar in all important respects to the 
situation in Illinois as discovered and fully set forth in Dr. 
Pease's volume on the county archives of that state. 3 The 
inventories reveal the existence of material containing a wealth 
of information, much of which has not yet found its way into 
histories. The character of this material may be indicated by 
an enumeration of a few of the more important groups of rec- 
ords which relate to the life of a whole community, and cover, 
more or less completely, the period of its political existence. 
Of these the county commissioners' records constitute the near- 
est approach to a connected and inclusive account of a county's 
past, but an amazing amount of instructive detail may be 
derived from such series as registers of births, deaths, and mar- 
riages, probate records, naturalization papers, census sched- 

3 Theodore C. Pease, County Archives of the State of Illinois (Illinois 
Historical Collections, vol. 12, Bibliographical Series, vol. 3 — Springfield, 




ules, 4 election material, agricultural statistics, abstracts of 
original entries of government land, assessment rolls, and tax 
lists. One can not go through these records, even in the cur- 
sory manner which suffices for an inventory, without noting 
numerous separate documents or items of historical and of 
human interest. At Anoka, for example, are to be found a 
few records of Manomin County, a diminutive political unit 
which existed for a few years in the early county-making days, 
but which is now the township of Fridley, Anoka County. 
Among the early plats of St. Paul and St. Anthony on file 
at Stillwater 5 is one, dated 1848, upon which the following 
notation is inscribed : "St. Anthony city is one mile below 
the falls of St. Anthony which from the amount of water 
power and ease with which it is controlled is destin[ed] to be 
one of the most extensive manufact[ur]ing places in the 
united states is the only place above St. Paul on the East side 
of the river where a landing can be made . . . It is the high- 
est point attained by Steamboats being amediately at the foot 
of the rapids and is unequivocaly destined to be the landing 
and reshiping point for all the Mississippi valley above." The 
period of townsite speculation and of "paper towns" is vividly 
brought to mind by the following statement appended to a 
delinquent tax list for the year 1857 by an Anoka tax collector : 
"In regard to the Tax of these lots in Glencarrie," he wrote, 
"Your Collector would respectfully report that after diligent 

4 A file of census schedules containing the official returns made by 
Washington County census-takers in connection with national and 
state censuses from 1850 to 1885, together with a local census of Still- 
water taken in 1853, has been transferred to the historical library. 
While most of this material appears to be duplicated by similar 
records on file in the state archives, it supplies the lack there of a 
number of important schedules for 1860 and all the schedules for 1880. 

5 For a number of years prior to the organization of Minnesota 
Territory in 1849 the region between the St. Croix and the Mississippi 
rivers, including the sites of St. Paul and St. Anthony, was a part of 
the old St. Croix County, Wisconsin Territory, the county seat of 
which was Dakota, a townsite included within the present limits of 




search, he has not been able to find any town by that name." 
Local officials sometimes found difficulty in knowing just what 
was expected of them. An instance of this kind appeared in 
connection with the taking of the 1875 census in Washington 
County. Census-takers were supplied with printed schedules 
which called for information about the name, age, sex, color, 
and condition of each resident in their respective districts. 
There seenis to have been some doubt as to just what was 
meant by "condition." At any rate all but one of the enumer- 
ators failed even to hazard a guess, and that one settled the 
question simply by reporting the condition of every one in his 
territory as "good." 

The courthouses in which these records are kept are all old 
buildings which have been more or less well adapted to meet 
present-day needs. Only one of them appears to be of fire- 
proof construction, but all are equipped with supposedly fire- 
proof vaults. Most of the records are kept in office vaults of 
brick and cement, or in steel cases in the offices. Three coun- 
ties make use of basement rooms and vaults for storing large 
masses of non-current records. In one county the overflow 
from all the offices is stored in a vault attached to the court- 
house. The door of this vault opens into the courthouse yard 
and is commonly left unlocked. Most of the vaults are 
equipped with metal filing boxes and shelves, though the old- 
style pasteboard boxes, wooden shelves, and pigeonholes have 
by no means been entirely displaced. 

The records have suffered by reason of fires, destruction by 
officials, exposure to dust and damp, lack of space, and faulty 
methods of filing. In one county the auditor's records for the 
first thirteen years, covering the period from 1860 to 1873, 
were practically all destroyed by fire. In two instances, it is 
said, officials have disposed of old records to make room for 
new, and the unexplained absence from the archives of a num- 
ber of record series which are known to have existed is prob- 
ably attributable to similar action, or at least to neglect, on the 



part of other county officers. As a rule records have not been 
adequately guarded against dust and damp. Not the least 
serious menace is due to the crowded condition of nearly all 
vaults and storerooms. Shelves are full and are sometimes 
packed tight with volumes. Filing boxes, as a general rule, 
are stuffed so full that to handle the contents without injur- 
ing them is difficult, if not impossible. Nearly every vault 
has its portion of loosely stacked volumes and papers on the 
floor or on the tops of the filing cases. Large quantities of doc- 
uments are so compactly folded, doubled, or rolled, and have 
acquired so firm a set in these forms that one hesitates to dis- 
turb a given paper lest to replace it would require a readjust- 
ment of all the records. 

In very few of these county offices are the records systemati- 
cally arranged throughout. This is especially true of the non- 
current records, and of the exceptionally large quantity and 
variety of records in the auditor's offices. Records belonging 
to a distinct group are seldom kept together. In cases where 
like records are grouped in a body, they are commonly without 
serial arrangement. Bound records of the same kind have 
various titles. The contents of filing boxes are rarely indicated 
accurately by the labels, and not a few of the latter are wholly 
misleading. These facts would seem to indicate the prevalence 
of conditions which seriously threaten the permanence and 
diminish the utility of county records throughout the state. 6 

An important feature of work in the field is the investiga- 
tion of local newspapers and newspaper files. Numerous and 
extensive as are the files of Minnesota newspapers at the state 
historical library, not all the publications of the state are to be 

6 Thus far it has not seemed advisable to inventory other public 
records such as those of cities, towns, and villages, but occasion has 
been taken to make preliminary investigations with a view of doing this 
in the near future. The first-hand information thus secured serves to 
strengthen the belief that town, as well as county, archives contain 
material the character and condition of which should command the 
attention of historical institutions. 




found there and many files are incomplete. Information about 
local files is therefore sought chiefly with the object of increas- 
ing the extent of readily available newspaper material either 
through accessions to the central collection or through central- 
ized information about supplementary files to be found in the 
localities. In a large percentage of cases local collections 
include either whole files or parts of files which are lacking in 
the central depository. One such file has been secured, and 
notes made of a number of others not at present obtainable. 
Two important publications have been added to the number of 
those regularly received by the society. Lists of all files 
retained in the localities, whether such files are duplicated in the 
central depository or not, are placed within the reach of 
students at the historical library. Furthermore, the attention 
of publishers is called, if necessary, to the importance of safe- 
guarding their own files, especially those which are not dupli- 
cated elsewhere. In one instance where this was done, the 
publisher supposed that a complete file of his paper was avail- 
able at the state historical library, and he was surprised to 
learn that there is a gap of some twenty-four years in this file. 
On the other hand, the checking-over of a local file not infre- 
quently shows that there are parts of it the existence or lack 
of which has hitherto been unknown to the publisher. Other 
facts might be brought out which would further emphasize the 
value of such a first-hand survey of the entire newspaper 
resources of the state. 

A like systematic, though less exhaustive, search for other 
material of historical value in private hands is made with a 
view of acquiring, or at least of locating and listing it. Before 
going to a county, the agent informs himself of the broad 
aspects of the county's history, making note of the sort of 
material to be especially sought out, and of the names of people 
most likely to have if. For this purpose the much-berated 
county history is useful, especially in cases where the author 
has revealed the existence of original source material in the 




locality. 7 A bibliography of all material in the historical 
library relating to the county to be visited is prepared, and the 
names of members of the Minnesota Historical Society resid- 
ing in the county are noted, together with such other available 
data as will facilitate the prompt inauguration of the work both 
of collecting material and of arousing local interest in historical 

Arrived in a community, the agent announces his presence 
and states his mission in the local newspapers. It is then com- 
paratively easy to get in touch with those who can supplement 
the information already in hand and thus point the way to a 
large number of likely prospects. The pioneer, the prominent 
citizen, the person who is known locally as "a great hand to 
save everything," or the families of such men, are naturally 
among those visited. But it may be assumed that every one 
has something and that records of one kind or another may be 
looked for everywhere, for they have been found in hovels and 
in fine homes, in bank vaults and in granaries, in cigar stores 
and in newspaper offices, in groceries and in vacant houses, 
though, strange to say, the traditional attic has as yet yielded 
nothing. Not infrequently the trail leads to places outside of 
the state and must be followed by means of correspondence 
conducted for the most part at society headquarters between 

The process of getting at and acquiring material is not, how- 
ever, quite so simple. Without the rights of search and con- 

7 In this and in other respects the history of the county is so closely 
associated with the historical interests of a local community that 
all aspects of it come within the range of a field worker's interest. 
Most of the Minnesota county histories at present in print are the 
products of commercial enterprise, and exhibit the marked defects 
characteristic of that type of publication. The appearance from time 
to time of new works of this class affords the field agent opportunity 
to make criticisms and suggestions, which appear in reviews of these 
histories in the Minnesota History Bulletin. It is encouraging to 
note that one professional writer and editor of commercial histories 
has shown a desire to cooperate in efforts looking toward the produc- 
tion of more scholarly works. 




demnation the agent is compelled to use whatever arts of diplo- 
macy and powers of persuasion he may possess. A hearing is 
usually accorded, though people are always "busy" (until inter- 
ested), and one or two very brief interviews have been con- 
ducted through slight openings in front doorways. The com- 
monest difficulty lies in getting people to understand that what 
is wanted is the materials or sources of history rather than his- 
torical or reminiscent accounts. That understood, it is neces- 
sary to emphasize the fact that very old and curious documents 
and relics are not the only things of historical value. If, then, 
it appears that people know what is wanted, that they know or 
will find out what they have, and will display it, the oftentimes 
delicate task of getting permission either to inventory or to 
secure the material for the historical society yet remains. In 
asking for material a powerful argument is supplied in the 
many known instances of like material thoughtlessly or acci- 
dentally destroyed. A moderate appeal, also, to personal, fam- 
ily, or local pride is seldom without some effect. Whenever 
material, especially that of undoubted historical value, is not 
obtainable at the moment, an effort is made to impress upon 
the owner the importance of safeguarding it, and to secure the 
promise of its ultimate deposit in the state historical library or 
in some other suitable public depository. 

These activities have resulted already in the acquisition of 
considerable material and of information, carefully recorded, 
about material which may yet be secured. The material 
acquired dates from the last years of the eighteenth century 
onward, though most of it falls within the last sixty years, and 
some of it is quite recent. It is largely local in character and 
is valuable more for the cumulative than for the independent 
character of its evidence. The printed matter includes such 
items as works by local authors, old school books, directories, 
charters and ordinances of cities and villages, publications of 
local institutions and organizations, and miscellaneous ephem- 
eral matter. The manuscript material includes several collec- 
tions of letters and papers, one of which comprises thousands 




of documents ; a number of business account books, which have 
to do with such matters as logging, lumber manufacturing, 
mercantile transactions, and river transportation; and a quan- 
tity of miscellaneous documents. A number of maps, both 
printed and manuscript, together with numerous pictures, 
photographs, and miscellany, make up the remainder. 

But valuable as these acquisitions undoubtedly are, they are 
probably insignificant as compared with what might have been 
secured had there been time and favorable opportunity for fol- 
lowing up all the known prospects, to say nothing of others 
yet to be discovered. A number of collections were not avail- 
able when they were located because of their close association 
with the lives and interests of the owners, who were, in most 
cases, aged pioneers. Still other material, accounts of which 
were promising, was stored in such a manner as to render it 
temporarily difficult of access. The task of inventorying and 
perhaps of securing two very large collections of records relat- 
ing to lumbering on the St. Croix had to be deferred because 
those in authority were either out of town or too busy at the 
time to give the matter the attention it required. The owner 
of a very valuable collection of the letters and papers of two 
pioneer missionaries retained them with the expectation of 
using the material for publication. 8 Another important collec- 
tion was withheld in the hope, apparently without much 
foundation, that some agency in the locality where it originated 
might be induced to make adequate provision for its preserva- 
tion and use. Finally, an unknown quantity of material is in 
the hands of the large number of people who were not reached 
in the comparatively short periods of time available for this 
phase of the work. 

Some part of this unfinished work may yet be done through 
correspondence or on return visits, but it is obvious that only 
one who is permanently on the ground will be in a position to 
exhaust all of the possibilities. Here is where actively inter- 

8 This collection, when discovered, was about to be taken to a dis- 
tant city, where it might easily never have come to light. 




ested residents and local societies should come in, and it is 
the field agent's business ultimately to see that they do so. On 
a first visit, however, the character and extent of his efforts in 
this direction must be determined largely by the situation as 
he finds it. It so happens that in the localities thus far visited 
there is little active interest in local history and so far as this 
interest goes it is limited to a very few members of the state 
historical society and one local pioneer association which is 
predominantly social in character. It has therefore been pos- 
sible only to commence a work which will be carried to com- 
pletion as favorable opportunities arise. Of course the very 
search for material serves at least to call attention to historical 
activity. Furthermore, every opportunity is seized to acquaint 
people fully with the character, importance, and needs of the 
work which the state historical society is doing. Those who 
appear to be interested and those who ought especially to be 
interested are invited to join and cooperate with the society. 
A definite effort is made to enlist the interest of some one per- 
son in each locality who will agree to keep a lookout for mate- 
rial; one who will either take steps to secure such material or 
inform the society about it; one, in short, who will act as a 
sort of representative of the society in his community. Con- 
ferences, also, are held with librarians, teachers, and others 
that the foundation may be laid for cooperative effort on the 
part of the historical society and local schools, libraries, news- 
papers, and organizations. Finally, suggestions are made 
which, if followed, will facilitate the organization of local his- 
torical societies. 

When the time is ripe, it is proposed to follow up this work 
along the lines of some such comprehensive and definite plan 
as that worked out in Michigan, where a systematic effort is 
being made to enlist the services of local workers and organi- 
zations all over the state in promoting general interest and 
widespread cooperation in local historical activities of all kinds, 
with special emphasis at this time on the collection of material. 
A single worker may in time inventory all the public records 




and newspapers and collect considerable privately owned mate- 
rial, but the fate of the public and of undoubtedly large quan- 
tities of private records rests with the people as a whole and as 
individuals. If, therefore, the field agent for the time being 
is more collector than missionary it is only that so much mate- 
rial as possible may be brought to light without delay and that 
the unrealized possibilities thereby indicated may be brought 
the more forcibly to public attention. 

Franklin F. Holbrook 

Minnesota Historical Society 
St. Paul 


De svenska lutherska forsamlingarnas och svenskarnas historia 
i Amerika. By E. Norelius. Volume 2. (Rock Island, 
Illinois, Augustana Book Concern, 1916. x, 541 p. Illus- 

Having spent the greater part of his life in religious work 
among the Swedes of the Northwest and serving as president of 
the Augustana Synod from 1874 to 1881 and from 1899 to 1911, 
Eric Norelius was well fitted to write an extensive history of 
the Swedes in America. In the first volume of this work, pub- 
lished by the Augustana Book Concern in 1890, Dr. Norelius 
follows the course of Swedish immigration and describes the 
Swedish settlements throughout the United States. The material 
is arranged in three parts, of which the first and last are com- 
paratively short. Part 1 contains a general account of Swedish 
immigration in America and a specific treatment of the Jansonist 
settlement at Bishop Hill in Illinois. Part 2 takes up each 
settlement, its development and church organization, usually 
concluding with an autobiographical sketch of the most impor- 
tant pastor of the community, with some additional comments on 
his work. Over two hundred pages of this part relate to Minne- 
sota and contain details concerning a large number of Swedish 
settlements. Among the outstanding ones are Chisago Lake, St. 
Paul, Red Wing, and Vasa. Part 3 includes a short history of 
the Lutheran Church, an explanation of the Lutheran Synod of 
Northern Illinois, the relation of the Scandinavians to this 
synod, and the conferences held under the union; and, finally, 
a chapter of a bibliographical nature listing the Swedish books 
and newspapers published in America up to 1860. Among the 
chapters of this volume most interesting to the student of his- 
tory are : chapter 2 of part 1 dealing with emigration in general, 
showing the influence of Swedes in America upon future emigra- 
tion and upon the course of emigration, of which the Hedstrom 
brothers are a striking example ; and chapter 5 of part 2 dealing 
with Chicago, graphically describing the cholera year of 1854 



and exemplifying the significance of religion through the work 
of Pastor Carlsson among the immigrants. 

In the second volume, recently issued, Dr. Norelius deals with 
the history of the Augustana Lutheran Church in America. The 
volume is divided into four parts, of which the first consists of 
an account of the withdrawal of the Scandinavians from the 
Lutheran Synod of Northern Illinois and the consequent organi- 
zation of a Scandinavian synod in 1864. Differences between 
the Norwegians and Swedes led to the establishment of separate 
synods in 1870. The growth of Swedish Lutheranism up to the 
present time is treated at length. Beginning with the eastern 
states, where manufacturing had created a large class of Swedish 
industrial workers, the account continues with the congregations 
of the Middle West, extending through the Mississippi Valley, 
and concludes with the establishment of Lutheran churches on 
the Pacific Coast, in the northern Rocky Mountain region, and 
Utah. Smaller Swedish congregations were also formed in 
Florida, Alabama, and Alaska — regions which lay outside of the 
synod geographical districts. The development in organization 
of the synod forms the subject of part 2. Here the formation of 
separate Norwegian and Swedish synods in 1870 is again treated 
and with more detail. Anniversary celebrations, such as the 
third centenary, in 1893, of the establishment of Lutheranism in 
Sweden, are described. Accounts of Augustana College, its 
foundation and location in Chicago in 1860, its removal to Pax- 
ton, its second removal to Rock Island, and the celebration of 
1910, are scattered throughout this part. Part 3 defines the 
doctrines of the church and explains the church government. 
Descriptions, statistical in character, are given of institutions ; 
such as schools, orphanages, hospitals, and homes for the aged, 
maintained by the synod. The largest division, part 4, is a 
detailed account with statistics of the twelve conference units of 
the synod, their organization, growth, and activities. The book 
concludes with a general summary of both volumes and a statis- 
tical resume. 

Although an occasional biographical sketch or description 
gives an insight into conditions of the time, the second volume 
stands out predominantly as a history of the Augustana Lutheran 
Church, based upon church records and reports. Other informa- 




tion is incidental, scattered, and fragmentary, sometimes merely 
a repetition of, or reference to, material in volume 1, which for 
the student of history other than religious is of greater value. 
The plan of the two volumes as a whole, the division into parts, 
and the contents of the parts, might have been better unified, 
more coherent, and less redundant. Fortunately for the reader, 
the second volume contains an index, though a meager one, for 
both volumes, the first having been without one. 

Living through the greater part of the period of which he 
writes, Norelius is able to contribute a wealth of historical 
material based upon his own observation. He uses, moreover, in- 
formation furnished by many other men of the time, most of 
whom appear to have been careful and conscientious in their 
reports. Norelius selects material judiciously; when in doubt of 
the authenticity of his information, he indicates the possibility of 
error. Much that is of interest is brought out in the numerous 
autobiographical and biographical sketches. An occasional bit of 
humor adds realism. 

In writing the history of the Swedes in America and of their 
religious development, Norelius contributes much information 
about pioneer life, particularly in the Northwest. The Lutheran 
Church performed a great mission in binding the people together 
not only religiously but socially, serving as a source of education 
both as a school and a publisher, intelligently guiding and direct- 
ing emigration, and generously giving spiritual aid and encourage- 
ment to the pioneer. 


Stone Ornaments Used by Indians in the United States and 
Canada; Being a Description of Certain Charm Stones, 
Gorgets, Tubes, Bird-Stones, and Problematical Forms. By 
Warren K. Moorehead. (Andover, Massachusetts, The 
Andover Press, 1917. 448 p. Illustrated) 

The present work is the fourth volume in an excellent series 
by Mr. Moorehead on the Indians : their stone implements, 
weapons, and ornaments ; their history during the transition 
period on the reservations set aside for them ; and their later 
progress in civilization and citizenship as part of the body politic. 


The ornamental stone artifacts and others of undetermined use 
herein described have only a scanty representation in Minnesota 
collections, as shown by the late Professor N. H. Winchell's 
work for the Minnesota Historical Society, entitled The Aborig- 
ines of Minnesota, published in 1911. Criteria of age, indicated 
by patina and weathering, and of distribution, especially as ob- 
served in the Lehigh region of Pennsylvania, are briefly discussed 
by Professor Edward H. Williams. The polished slate artifacts 
of New York are very instructively described and figured by 
Arthur C. Parker of the New York State Museum in Albany. 

Abundant and admirable illustrations, including 265 figures in 
the text, five colored plates, and three maps, add greatly to the 
usefulness of this work. Its bibliography, in seventeen pages, is 
divided into a general group and the following special groups : 
amulets, banner-stones, bird-stones, boat-stones, discoidals, pend- 
ants, pierced tablets or gorgets, plummets, spatulate forms, hoe- 
shaped forms, tubes, and miscellaneous objects. 

The term "problematical," applied to many of these artifacts, 
is defined as "meaning, in the strict sense, stones presumably 
made use of by chiefs, shamans, warriors and women for per- 
sonal adornment or in ceremonies or during religious rites." 

Warren Upham 

History of Douglas and Grant Counties, Minnesota; Their 
People, Industries, and Institutions. Constant Larson, 
editor-in-chief. In two volumes. (Indianapolis, B. F. 
Bowen and Company, 1916. 509, 693 p. Illustrated) 

In the first volume of this work the history of Douglas and 
Grant counties is presented in separate series of topical narra- 
tives which deal in the usual way with such subjects as the 
beginnings and progress of settlement; the establishment and 
organization of counties and towns; the development of trans- 
portation facilities ; the rise of cities and villages ; agricultural, 
industrial, and commercial growth ; the establishment and sub- 
sequent history of schools, churches, newspapers, and fraternal 
organizations ; the professions ; military history ; and various 
"sidelights on county history." The second volume is devoted 
to biographies for the most part of living residents of the two 




About a fifth of the historical volume consists of reprinted 
material not improperly employed as an historical and descrip- 
tive background for the work. A chapter on "Related State 
History," which appears in nearly all recent Bowen publications, 
serves as an introduction to the county histories. The chapters 
on the geology of the two counties are taken (without acknowl- 
edgment) from volume 2 of the Final Report of the Minnesota 
Geological and Natural History Survey. A long chapter, entitled 
"The Kensington Rune Stone ; an Ancient Tragedy," is for the 
most part a reprint of the preliminary report of the museum com- 
mittee of the Minnesota Historical Society on the subject of the 
authenticity of this alleged ancient record, 1 although the report 
is not given quite "in full" as stated. In view of the fact that 
this famous stone was unearthed in Douglas County and that the 
question of the origin of its inscription is still a matter of dispute 
among archeologists, it is not surprising that considerable space 
should be devoted in the present work to this mass of evidence 
pro and con. The editor himself expresses no opinion and calls 
attention to the fact that, contrary to a more or less prevalent 
impression, the Minnesota Historical Society has never taken 
sides in the controversy, the last official statement being "that the 
Council and Society reserve their conclusion until more agree- 
ment of opinions for or against the rune inscription may be 
attained." Another passage of some length, and also of no little 
historical interest, is taken from a series of articles entitled "To 
Red River and Beyond," which appeared in Harper's New 
Monthly Magazine, one of which, published in August, 1860, 
contained an account of the passage of the writer and his party 
through the region of Douglas County. The "anonymous maga- 
zine writer," the author of the series, was Manton Marble, a 
New York journalist, who later became owner and editor of the 
New York World. 

The histories proper of the two counties are made up of inter- 
mingled historical narratives, statistical material, and accounts 
descriptive of present-day conditions. Of special interest to 
students of Minnesota history are the portions which deal with 
the situation in this region at the time of the Sioux outbreak 
of 1862 and with the process of organizing the counties. The 

1 Minnesota Historical Collections, 15 : 221-286. 


former accounts furnish an admirable illustration of the double 
effect of the Indian war in retarding and in advancing settlement. 
In the matter of county organization a number of interesting 
features are brought out. Each county was created at a time 
when there were few, if any, settlers in that part of the territory. 
Douglas County was created in 1858, the very year in which per- 
manent settlement began. The next year, however, according to 
this account, "a move was started to organize Douglas for 
administrative purposes . . . and an election was held. . . . 
Not all of the settlers were willing thus to assume the responsi- 
bilities of government and it is narrated that only a few voted. 
The returns of the election therefore were not recognized by the 
authorities and the election was held to be void. . . . Not long 
after," the governor, under legislative authorization, appointed 
a board of commissioners, who, in turn, appointed a register of 
deeds, a sheriff, and a probate judge. "This organization was 
maintained until the time of the Indian outbreak, when it . . . 
was abandoned and all records that had been made were lost." 
It was not until 1866 that a permanent and complete organization 
was effected. Grant County, created in 1868, was first fully 
organized in 1873. The governor had previously appointed three 
county commissioners, and it is said that "in 1872, Peter N. Smith 
and Henry Secor, two lawyers from Otter Tail county, came 
down and induced the county commissioners to appoint a full 
set of officers, with Secor as auditor and Smith as county attor- 
ney. These officers evidently never held their positions legally, 
as they left no official record, and their presence here is known 
only through tradition." 

In the chapter on "Sidelights on [Douglas] County History" 
are presented extracts from a number of reminiscent letters 
called forth on the occasion of the "home-coming week" cele- 
brated at Alexandria in June, 1916. It may be well to note in 
this connection that such an occasion also affords an excellent 
opportunity for bringing together and preserving such tangible 
records of the past as the home-coming or homeward-looking 
former residents of a community may possess. 

In general the work calls for the same sort of commendation 
and criticism as is to be found elsewhere in these pages in reviews 
of other commercial histories. The narrative, however, in many 




places shows a somewhat keener sense of historical perspective, 
a more critical use of material, and a fuller appreciation of the 
value of intimate detail than is commonly the case with writers 
of such histories. On the other hand, it would seem that a more 
thoroughgoing search for, and exhaustive investigation of, local 
material, both public and private, would have resulted in a fuller 
treatment of certain phases of the subject at least. It is to be 
regretted that more attention was not paid, for instance, to the 
causes, progress, and influence of the notable influx of Scan- 
dinavians, and of the local aspects of the career of the most 
noted resident of the region, Senator Knute Nelson. 

Franklin F. Holbrook 

The Story of Minnesota. By E. Dudley Parsons, instructor in 
English, West High School, Minneapolis, Minnesota. (New 
York, etc., American Book Company, 1916. 336 p. Illus- 

Our Minnesota; a History for Children. By Hester McLean 
Pollock, teacher of history and civics in the St. Paul high 
schools. (New York, E. P. Dutton and Company, 1917. 
xiii, 373 p. Illustrated) 

These volumes, written especially for children, supply a need, 
which has for a long time been apparent, of a textbook on the 
history of Minnesota suitable for use in the grade departments of 
the public schools of the state. The Story of Minnesota is 
similar in form to other textbooks of this character, each chapter 
having its material arranged under black-letter topical headings 
and concluding with the customary summary, suggestive ques- 
tions, and references to sources. In such texts the material must 
of necessity be treated in the briefest manner possible. Mr. 
Parsons, by a judicious selection of topics and by the use of a 
moderate amount of detail, has succeeded in placing before his 
young readers in satisfactory form the history of the early 
periods of exploration, settlement, and political organization. He 
devotes the latter half of the book to an account of the rapid 
development of the natural resources of the state, of its growth 
in population, of its advance along economic, social, and educa- 
tional lines, of the men who have wisely and capably directed 




and contributed to this development, and of the part which the 
state has played in the larger life of the nation. Comprehensive 
summaries of the machinery of local and state government and 
a discussion of the duties of citizens form the concluding chapters 
of the book. 

The usefulness of Mr. Parsons' book is greatly lessened, how- 
ever, by numerous errors and questionable statements which it 
contains. Most of the errors are due to a carelessness which is 
quite inexcusable in one who purposes to write history. The 
painting "Father Hennepin Discovering St. Anthony Falls," 
reproduced on page 24, hangs in the governor's reception room 
of the capitol rather than in the historical library ; and the paint- 
ing given on page 116 is not "owned by the Minnesota Historical 
Society," nor was it executed by "Frank B. Mayer," but by 
Frank G. Millet. The Minnesota Historical Collections are con- 
stantly referred to as the "Minnesota Historical Society Papers," 
and the Northwest Company is always called the "Northwestern 
Fur Company." Critical historians now consider it quite unlikely 
that Carver ascended the Minnesota "as far as Big Stone Lake" 
(p. 35) ; and Carver does not make any reference "in his journal" 
to "a grant of land which two Indian chiefs made in his favor" 
(p. 36). The first mention of the grant appeared in Dr. Lett- 
som's introduction to the third London edition (1781) of 
Carver's Travels through the Interior Parts of North America, 
brought out after Carver's death. On page 47 Pike is quoted as 
saying that "1,000,000 acres . . . was obtained [by the treaty 
with the Indians in 1805] for presents of the value of two hun- 
dred dollars . . . and a promise binding the Senate to pay two 
thousand dollars." This statement does not appear in this form 
either in Pike's journal or in his letter to General Wilkinson. 
His estimate of the number of acres acquired was 100,000, and 
the amount to be paid by the United States was left blank in 
the original articles. The Senate, ratifying the treaty in 1808, 
stipulated that the amount should be two thousand dollars. Mr. 
Parsons' ideas of geography are somewhat confused when he 
declares on page 41, "Beyond [west of the Mississippi] was 
Louisiana, stretching from the Rainy River to the Gulf of 
Mexico." His statement on page 60 that if a person had "been 
born in eastern Minnesota in 1783, he would have been under 




the rule of France, England, and the United States . . . before 
his threescore years and ten had been completed" is incorrect, 
since France did not have title to any land in Minnesota east of 
the Mississippi after 1763. One can not fail to wonder from 
what source Mr. Parsons took his population statistics for 1849 
(p. 102). His items do not in any particular agree with those 
of the census of 1849 as given in the Council Journal for 1849 
(p. 183). He assigns to St. Paul, for instance, a population of 
2,920, whereas the census count shows that the town contained 
840 persons. Dakota County is omitted from the list of counties 
established by the first territorial legislature of 1849 (p. 102). 
These and many other misstatements should be corrected in a 
second edition. 

Mr. Parsons has made his text more interesting and instructive 
by the use of numerous illustrations. Those which are reproduc- 
tions from photographs are valuable adjuncts. Drawings for a 
work of this character, however, unless executed by one who is 
well acquainted with the period, are likely to contain anachro- 
nisms which render them valueless. Some of those which are 
found in Mr. Parsons' book are open to this criticism and might 
well have been omitted, particularly the one representing "Radis- 
son and Groseilliers with the Indians" — all mounted on horses! 
The lists of references at the close of the chapters would be of 
more service if they contained more definite information about 
publishers, date and place of publication, and number of pages. 

Our Minnesota, while undeniably written for children, does 
not follow the conventional form of textbooks. The narrative is 
rather long ; and it is so encumbered with a mass of details as to 
be burdensome and confusing. The propriety of devoting, in a 
school history, forty- four pages to an account of the Sioux and 
Chippewa Indians, twenty-four pages to the development of 
transportation facilities, and eighteen pages to the various ex- 
ploratory expeditions to the upper Mississippi and lake region 
may well be questioned. The material of the book is not organ- 
ized in accordance with a definite, well-ordered plan, and there 
is a noticeable lack of coherence and unity. Very little regard 
has been paid to the chronology of events — a method of treat- 
ment which naturally results in needless repetition. An account 
of the various treaties by which the Indians surrendered to the 




government their title to lands within the territory precedes the 
chapter (6) dealing with the exploration period. The various 
exploratory expeditions to the Mississippi from the time of De 
Soto to the days of Schoolcraft are described in chapter 14, 
although much of the same material appears in chapter 6. A 
chapter devoted to the Civil War and to the Sioux outbreak is 
placed between chapters dealing with agricultural development 
and the history of transportation respectively, both phases of the 
state's history being traced from the earliest days to the present 
time. Miss Pollock has given us therefore not a connected his- 
tory of Minnesota, but a series of sketches. 

No footnote references to sources are given, the author con- 
tenting herself with a statement in the preface that "the sources 
which have been used are to be found largely in the diaries and 
papers of the Minnesota Historical Society, reliance put largely 
upon the statements of those who helped to make the history here 
related." The book is not entirely free from errors. Thomas 
Jefferson did not "make" the Ordinance of 1787 (p. 59). It was 
Schoolcraft and not Boutwell "who named Lake Itasca" (p. 103). 
When Henry H. Sibley came to Mendota, he made the trip on 
horseback from Prairie du Chien instead of from Traverse des 
Sioux, and he had the distinction of being a partner in the 
American Fur Company rather than one of its agents (p. 139). 
The statement (p. 159) that "when the territory began, there 
were only four counties" is not correct ; the first territorial legis- 
lature created nine counties, three of which were declared to be 
organized counties. John Hawkins had played his part in the 
slave trade and gone the way of all bold seamen long before 1619 
(p. 205). 

Our Minnesota has, however, admirable qualities which go 
a long way toward offsetting these defects. Its author has been 
for many years an enthusiastic lover of Minnesota and its his- 
tory. She is keenly aware of all the natural beauties of the state ; 
of the romance and adventure which underlie so much of its 
history ; and of all the economic, educational, and social advan- 
tages which operate to make it a wholly desirable place in which 
to live. Along with other educators she has advocated teaching 
to children the responsibilities of citizenship, but with more far- 
seeing wisdom than some, she has sensed that if children love 




"the place where they live . . . care and responsibility for it will 
grow as a natural result." With this ideal in view, she has 
written this series of sketches, drawing with a loving and appre- 
ciative touch vivid pictures of the red men, the adventurous 
explorers, the fur-traders, and the pioneers, and investing each 
bare statement of fact and narration of event with vitality and 
interest. She leaves us at the last page with a feeling that her 
Minnesota has become "our Minnesota." 


At the stated meeting of the executive council April 9, Mr. 
Franklin F. Holbrook, the society's field agent, presented a report 
on his work and a discussion of the possibilities of historical 
field work. 

The legislature appropriated twenty-five thousand dollars a 
year for the maintenance of the society during the biennium 
beginning August 1, 1917. This increase of five thousand dollars 
over the annual appropriations for the last ten years will barely 
cover the increased expenses due to the general rise in prices 
and will not permit any considerable expansion of the activities 
of the society. 

The following new members, all active, have been enrolled 
during the quarter ending April 30, 1917: Professor Carl D. A. 
F. Abbetmeyer of St. Paul ; Hjalmar Anderson of Rush City ; 
Rev. Philip Gordon of White Earth ; Cyril A. Herrick of Minne- 
apolis ; Hiram M. Hitchcock of Redwood Falls ; Mrs. Marie L. 
Bottineau Baldwin of Washington, District of Columbia ; and 
O. G. Boisseau of Holden, Missouri. Deaths among the members 
during the same period were as follows : Bishop Samuel C. 
Edsall of Minneapolis, February 17; Hon. Orlando B. Turrell of 
Redwood Falls, March 10; Lycurgus R. Moyer of Montevideo, 
March 14 ; Josiah Paine of Harwich, Massachusetts, March 14 ; 
and General Judson W. Bishop of St. Paul, March 19. All were 
active members except Mr. Paine, who was a corresponding 

The Western Magazine for March contains an article entitled 
"The Minnesota Historical Society, an Exposition of the Im- 
portance of Its Public Work," by Franklin F. Holbrook, field 
agent of the society. Accompanying the article is a picture of 
the new building. 

The inventory of the public archives of Minnesota, compiled 
by Mr. Herbert A. Kellar in 1915 under the joint auspices of the 
Minnesota Historical Society and the public archives commission 



of the American Historical Association, has been reprinted from 
the Annual Report of the association for 1914 with the title A 
Preliminary Survey of the More Important Archives of the Ter- 
ritory and State of Minnesota (Washington, 1916. Pp. 385-476). 
Mr. Kellar's survey consists of detailed lists of the papers 
and records in the offices of the governor, secretary of state, 
attorney general, state auditor, state treasurer, adjutant general, 
clerk of the supreme court, superintendent of education, insur- 
ance department, railroad and warehouse commission, depart- 
ment of grain inspection, department of weights and measures, 
dairy and food department, and state drainage engineer. As the 
present location of files in the vaults and offices is indicated, the 
work will greatly facilitate the consultation of the records for 
administrative as well as for historical purposes. The outstand- 
ing conclusion to be drawn from the report is that there is great 
need of more adequate provision for the arrangement and preser- 
vation of these fundamental materials for the history of Minne- 
sota. "In most cases the officials have made the best use of 
what opportunities there were for safe-guarding archives ; but, 
with the exception of those in the regular office vaults in the new 
capitol, there is no guarantee of safety from fire and water." 
Almost equally serious is the disorderly condition of many of the 
older records, exposed to dirt and in danger of destruction as 
waste paper. It is to be hoped that the legislature will ultimately 
provide the necessary funds for the establishment of an archives 
department in the new Minnesota Historical Society Building. 


From Judge Grier M. Orr the society has received a collection 
of about seventy miscellaneous pamphlets, some of which are of 
considerable value for Minnesota history, and a partial file of 
the Minnesota Law Journal published from 1893 to 1898. Num- 
bers 2, 3, and 5 to 8 inclusive of volume 1, numbers 4 and 5 of 
volume 4, and number 9 of volume 5 are needed to complete the 

From Joseph R. Murtaugh, manager of the Bronson-Folsom 
Towing Company, Stillwater, have been received six account 
books of trips made in 1908 and 1909 by the "Clyde," a steamer 




engaged in rafting logs and lumber on the St. Croix and Missis- 
sippi rivers between Stillwater and Dubuque, Iowa. The record 
of each trip includes detailed accounts of expenditures for labor, 
fuel, food, and sundries, the "log book," and an account of rafts 
received and delivered. 

Mr. Cass Canfield has presented a small, attractively bound 
volume published by himself, containing a number of letters 
found among old papers belonging to his great grandfather Lewis 
Cass. The collection, issued under the title General Lewis Cass, 
1J82-1866 (1916. 41 p.), includes letters to Cass from James 
Monroe, Louis Philippe, Andrew Jackson, and James Buchanan, 
and two written by Cass himself. 

Besides three volumes of Indiana Historical Collections and 
eight numbers of its Bulletin, the Indiana Historical Commission 
has presented a copy of the medal designed by Miss Janet 
Saddler and struck in commemoration of the centennial of the 
admission of Indiana to- the Union in 1816. This is mounted in 
an attractive booklet containing information about the medal, 
the centennial, and the history of the state. The copy received is 
number 904 of 918 proofs, and the booklet contains the personal 
autograph of Governor Samuel M. Ralston. 

The Rice Statue Commission has presented the society with a 
copy of a book entitled Statue of Henry Mower Rice (Washing- 
ton, 1916. 90 p.), in which are printed the proceedings at 
Statuary Hall, in the Senate, and in the House of Representa- 
tives on the occasion of the presentation and acceptance of the 
statue of Henry M. Rice. A photogravure reproduction of the 
statue forms the frontispiece of the volume. 

Copies of the New York Evening Post of February 8 and 9, 
1815, have been presented by Mr. H. N. Westaway of Duluth. 
The latter of these issues is especially interesting as it contains 
the news of the battle of New Orleans. 

From Miss Julia Crooks of St. Paul has been received an 
annotated copy of Irving's Astoria formerly the property of her 
grandfather Ramsay Crooks and said to have been presented to 
him by the author. 


The society has received from Mr. Frederic W. Pearsall of 
Granite Falls a very good specimen of the ancient cloth woven 
by the Sioux women a hundred or more years ago. It is in the 
form of a bag about seven inches wide and five inches deep. In 
the earliest time the yarn employed in the manufacture of the 
cloth was spun from the shredded bark of nettles or basswood 
trees ; later worn-out woolen cloth was utilized. Both sorts of 
yarn were apparently used to make the bag just acquired. 

A photograph of eight members of the Fifth Minnesota 
Volunteer Infantry, taken in St. Paul in 1896, at the time of the 
thirtieth national encampment of the Grand Army of the Repub- 
lic, has been received from Charles A. Rose, document clerk in 
the office of the secretary of state. 


The Proceedings of the Eleventh Annual Conference of His- 
torical Societies (Washington, 1916. Pp. 291-348) has been 
issued as a separate of the Annual Report of the American His- 
torical Association for 1914. It contains papers on "The Chicago 
Historical Society," by Dr. Otto L. Schmidt ; "Research in State 
History at State Universities," by James A. Woodburn ; and 
"Restrictions on the Use of Historical Materials," by Lawrence 
J. Burpee. Discussions of the last two papers are also reported. 
An appendix contains summary reports of the activities during 
the year of ninety-three historical societies in the United States 
and Canada. Because of the unavoidable delay in the publication 
of these Proceedings as a part of the Annual Reports of the 
American Historical Association, a condensed report of the Thir- 
teenth Annual Conference of Historical Societies, held in Cin- 
cinnati, December 28, 1916, has been issued independently 
(15 p.). It contains brief abstracts of papers on the affiliation or 
federation of state and local historical societies in Pennsylvania, 
Ontario, Michigan, Illinois, and Massachusetts ; also the usual 
summary reports of the activities of eighty-seven societies. At 
this last conference a plan of organization as a semi-independent 
body under the auspices of the American Historical Association 
was adopted. 

The Fifteenth Report of the public archives commission of the 
American Historical Association, edited by Victor H. Paltsits, 
chairman, has been reprinted from volume 1 of the Annual 
Report of the association (1916. Pp. 349-476). It consists of 
a brief statement of archive progress during the year and of two 
appendixes. One of these is the survey of the Minnesota archives 
noted elsewhere in this issue, and the other comprises the "Pro- 
ceedings of the Sixth Annual Conference of Archivists," which 
was held in connection with the meeting of the American His- 
torical Association in Chicago in December, 1914. This includes 
papers on "Legislation for Archives," by Charles H. Rammel- 
kamp, and "Principles of Classification for Archives," by Ethel 
B. Virtue. 





The tenth annual meeting of the Mississippi Valley Historical 
Association was held in Chicago, April 26, 27, and 28, 1917. The 
headquarters and most of the sessions were in the building of the 
Chicago Historical Society. Among the papers read at the meet- 
ing the following are of special interest to students of Minnesota 
history: "Glimpses of Some Old Mississippi River Posts," by 
Louis Pelzer of the State University of Iowa; "The Military- 
Indian Frontier, 1830-1835," by Ruth Gallaher of the State Uni- 
versity of Iowa; "Fur-Trading Companies in the Northwest, 
1763-1816," by Wayne E. Stevens of the University of Minne- 
sota ; "Some Possibilities of Historical Field Work," by Franklin 
F. Holbrook of the Minnesota Historical Society ; "The Influence 
of the West on the Rise and Decline of Political Parties," by 
Homer C. Hockett of Ohio State University; and "A Plan for 
the Union of the United States and British North America, 
1866," by Theodore C. Blegen of Milwaukee. The president's 
address, by Frederic L. Paxson of the University of Wisconsin, 
dealt with "The Rise of Sports, 1876-1893." At the business 
session St. George L. Sioussat was elected president and Mrs. 
Clara Paine of Lincoln, Nebraska, secretary-treasurer. The 
sentiment of the members present was in favor of holding the 
1918 meeting in St. Paul, but the final decision was left to the 
executive committee. 

The Proceedings of the Mississippi Valley Historical Associa- 
tion for 1915-16 comprises part 1 of volume 9 and is issued as 
an extra number of the Mississippi Valley Historical Review 
(1917. 206 p.). It contains an account of the ninth annual 
meeting at Nashville in April, 1916, by Beverly W. Bond Jr., 
reports of officers and committees, the president's address by Dr. 
Dunbar Rowland on "The Mississippi Valley in American His- 
tory," and such of the papers read at the ninth annual meeting 
as have not been printed elsewhere. The report of the committee 
on the management of state historical museums consists of 
"Notes on Some Western Museums," by the chairman, Charles E. 

The Indiana Historical Commission, which was established 
two years ago to promote the proper observance of the centennial 
of the state's admission to the Union, has issued a series of eight 




Bulletins, of which the last two comprise a formal report of the 
activities of the commission to December 1, 1916, and an account 
of the final celebration at Indianapolis on December 11 (42, 
29 p.)- Of special interest also is number 6 of these Bulletins 
entitled Organisation of County and Local Historical Societies, 
by Harlow Lindley. This contains an excellent statement of the 
objects and advantages of such societies and a list of thirty-one 
already organized in the state. The constitutions and by-laws of 
several of these are printed as models. The desire of the com- 
mission that some of the permanent results of its work should 
be along the lines of the preservation of the materials for Indiana 
history has brought about the publication of three volumes of 
Indiana Historical Collections. These comprise Constitution 
Making in Indiana, a Source Book of Constitutional Documents, 
by Charles Kettleborough (1916. 2 v.), and Indiana as Seen by 
Early Travelers, a Collection of Reprints from Books of Travel, 
Letters, and Diaries, Prior to 1830, edited by Mr. Lindley (1916. 
596 p.). 

The Twenty-ninth Report of the Commissioner of Public 
Records of Massachusetts, for the year 1916 (8 p.) illustrates 
the way in which that state looks after its archives. The records 
of 165 counties, cities, and towns were inspected during the year 
with reference to their "care, custody, and protection against fire" ; 
several towns and counties were required to have part of their 
records repaired, renovated, or bound ; and one volume which 
had been in private hands was restored through court proceed- 
ings to the town to which it belonged. The commission also 
assisted a legislative committee "in making a complete survey of 
the public records in the offices of the State House and in formu- 
lating recommendations in connection with them." Although 
fires occurred in four buildings in which local records were 
preserved, no documents were destroyed because of provisions 
which had been made for their safeguarding. 

Prize Essays Written by Pupils of Michigan Schools in the 
Local History Contest for ipi 5-16 is the title of number 8 of the 
Bulletins of the Michigan Historical Commission (1917. 35 p.). 
This contest was arranged and the prizes were furnished by the 
Michigan Daughters of the American Revolution and the Michi- 




gan Federation of Women's Clubs. Similar contests are to be 
held each year and will doubtless be very helpful in arousing 
interest in local history throughout the state. 

The Wisconsin Historical Society has brought out as number 
85 of its Bulletins of Information a List of Portraits and Paint- 
ings in the Wisconsin Historical Museum (1916. 22 p.). 

Bulletin number 1, descriptive of the museum and library of 
the State Historical Society of North Dakota, has been issued by 
the society (1917. 24 p.). The pamphlet is illustrated with 
photographs of a number of exhibits in the museum. 

The Louisiana Historical Society, New Orleans, has begun the 
publication of a periodical entitled the Louisiana Historical 
Quarterly, the first number of which is dated January 8, 1917. 

Mr. C. M. Burton of Detroit began last October the publica- 
tion of a series entitled Manuscripts from the Burton Historical 
Collection, three numbers of which have now been issued 
(112 p.). The documents so far published relate in the main to 
the Northwest from 1754 to 1806 and are valuable contributions 
to history. They are edited by M. Agnes Burton. 

A work full of suggestion for all students of conditions 
affecting the character, progress, and course of settlement in a 
new region is George N. Fuller's Economic and Social Beginnings 
of Michigan, published by the Michigan Historical Commission 
as the first number of its University Series (Lansing, 1916. 
lxxii, 630 p.). Intended to introduce rather than to exhaust the 
subject, the work is limited to "a study of the settlement of the 
lower peninsula during the territorial period, 1805-1837," and is 
based largely upon information derived from state and local 
histories, the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collections, early 
newspapers, and other readily available sources. Within these 
recognized limits the author has produced an elaborately con- 
ceived and comprehensive work which may well serve as an in- 
spiration and a guide to any who may undertake similar studies 
in the field of Minnesota history. 

In view of the recent entrance of the United States into the 
European war and the probable absence from their election dis- 
tricts of thousands of voters for an indefinite period of time, 




Josiah H. Benton's Voting in the Field, a Forgotten Chapter of 
the Civil War (Boston, 1915. 332 p.) is of especial interest. At 
the outbreak of the Civil War there was no legislation in force 
by which a soldier or sailor could vote anywhere outside of the 
district in which he resided. The injustice of this situation was 
quickly recognized in both the North and the South. Mr. Benton 
has treated at some length "the history of legislation or an 
attempt to legislate in every Southern State except four, — 
Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas ; and in every 
Northern State except Oregon," whereby this injustice might be 
remedied, a chapter being devoted to each state. The various 
sources of opposition to such legislation, the methods of voting in 
the field employed, and the results of the inclusion of the soldiers' 
votes in the succeeding elections are particularly brought out. 

Evangeliets Seier (Minneapolis, 1916. 256 p.), edited by 
Pastor Th. Himle, is published in commemoration of the twenty- 
fifth anniversary of the Hauge Synod Chinese Mission, held in 
Red Wing, Minnesota, 1916. The book contains songs, sermons, 
reports, and letters, many written by the men and women actively 
engaged in the missionary work under the auspices of the synod. 
The biographical sketches, accompanied by photographs, are 
largely of Minnesota people. The greater part of the book, how- 
ever, deals with conditions in China, the need of religious teach- 
ing, and the progress of the Lutheran mission work. 

In order "to save . . . some portraits and observations that 
might otherwise be lost" Waldemar Ager has collected and edited 
in Oberst Heg og Hans Gutter (Eau Claire, Wisconsin, 1916. 
327 p.) letters and diaries written by members of the Fifteenth 
Wisconsin Regiment. The organization of a Norwegian regi- 
ment was formally begun at a meeting of Norwegians, recently 
arrived in America, held in Madison, September 15, 1861. Nor- 
wegians, some of whom came from or later lived in Minnesota, 
made up over ninety per cent of the regiment. A short descrip- 
tion is given of the reunion of May 17, 1914, at the Minnesota 
State Fair Grounds. 

Nordmcend og Norske Hjem i Amerika (Fargo, North Dakota, 
1916. 208 p.) is the title of a book by Hans Jervell, published 
for the purpose of showing what Norwegians have done for the 




development of the Northwest and incidentally to encourage the 
bygdelag societies. The book contains biographical sketches of 
Norwegians grouped according to the bygdelag from which they 

Along the Scenic Highway (96 p.) and Opportunities along 
the Scenic Highway through the Land of Fortune (151 p.) are 
two recent publications of the Northern Pacific Railroad Com- 
pany. The former, attractively illustrated, covers the "historical, 
scenic, physical and railway features" of the region traversed by 
the railroad. The latter contains statistical data on the schools, 
churches, professions, industries, and commercial houses of 
cities and towns along the Northern Pacific line, the prevailing 
nationality of the population in each case being included. 

A full account of the exercises in connection with the dedica- 
tion of the monuments erected to Minnesota officers and soldiers 
who lost their lives in the Civil War and are buried in the 
national military cemeteries at Little Rock, Arkansas, Memphis, 
Tennessee, and Andersonville, Georgia, which occurred Septem- 
ber 22-26, 1916, is contained in the Report (74 p.) recently 
issued by the Minnesota commission appointed by the legislature 
of 1913 to have charge of the placing of these memorials. 

Janney, Semple, Hill & Co., Minneapolis, 1866-1916 is the title 
of a handsome book issued by this house to mark the fiftieth 
anniversary of its founding (62 p.). The history of the enter- 
prise from its beginning as a retail hardware and stove business 
under the name of Janney and Moles to its present position as 
one of the leading jobbing houses of the Northwest forms an 
important chapter in the economic history of Minneapolis and of 
the entire state. Brief biographies of the men who have been 
prominently connected with the management of the business 
throughout its history and numerous illustrations add to the 
value of the publication. 

The Third Infantry Regiment Minnesota Volunteer Associa- 
tion has issued the Proceedings of its thirty-second annual 
reunion, held at Minneapolis, September 6, 1916 (20 p.). A list 
of the members of the association recently deceased, reminiscent 
letters from absent comrades, and a memorial sketch of Major 




James M. Bowler, by General C. C. Andrews, are noteworthy 
features of the pamphlet. 

On October 14 and 15, 1916, a "Reunion of Old Boys" was 
held at Rochester, Minnesota, an account of which has recently 
been published by Charles N. Chadbourn of Minneapolis (61 p.). 
The pamphlet contains also a "List of Old Rochester Boys" 
and a panorama photograph of a group of those who attended 
the reunion. 

An historical sketch of the Minnesota Boat Club, organized 
in St. Paul in 1870, is published in the spring, 1917, issue of 
Coming's Quarterly Razoo. The article is illustrated with photo- 
graphs of a number of men who played a prominent part in the 
organization during its early years. 

The April issue of the Western Magazine contains a sketch 
of Alexander Ramsey by the late Return I. Holcombe. The 
article is the first of a series entitled "State Builders of the 

Under the title "Early Day Thrills Written by Pioneer," the 
Mankato Daily Free Press of April 16 prints a review and sum- 
mary of Captain Potter's "Recollections" published in the No- 
vember issue of the Bulletin. 

The problem of how the state of Minnesota may fittingly 
express in concrete form its recognition of the services rendered 
by one of its foremost citizens, Henry H. Sibley, seems about to 
be solved. The legislature of 1917 authorized the appointment 
by the governor of a committee to investigate the feasibility of 
the construction of a highway to be known as the General Sibley 
Memorial Highway. Starting at the junction of Chippewa 
Avenue and Annapolis Street, West St. Paul, the proposed high- 
way is to follow the Mississippi River bluff until it reaches the 
limits of Mendota, whence it is to form a suitable approach to 
the Sibley House, which is located in the village and which, since 
1910, has been in the possession and care of the Minnesota So- 
ciety of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The project 
includes the setting-aside of a park to be called the Sibley State 
Park, which in extent shall conform to the limits of the tract 
generally known as "Happy Hollow." 




Following an annual custom, the Native Sons of Minnesota 
observed the sixty-eighth anniversary of the organization of 
Minnesota Territory with a banquet and appropriate exercises 
at the West Hotel, Minneapolis, March 3. Judge J. W. Willis of 
St. Paul delivered an address on the history of territorial Minne- 
sota, sketching briefly the leading events, tracing the Indian 
origin of a few geographic names, and relating incidents about 
some of the better known men of that period. Dr. H. M. 
Bracken of the Minnesota State Board of Health in a short talk 
emphasized the need of a more adequate system of the keeping of 
vital statistics, particularly of the registration of births. 

The Pioneer Rivermen's Association held its annual meeting 
at the rooms of the Midway branch of the St. Paul Association 
on February 23. Twenty of the forty-three members were in 
attendance. A number of veterans in the packet service were 
called upon for brief speeches. Captain O. F. Knapp told of his 
carrying of DeHaven's Mammoth Circus up the Minnesota River 
on the "G. E. Knapp" in 1863, and William Cairncross of St. 
Paul described a trip of the "Dr. Franklin" up the Chippewa in 
1848. An important action of the association was the tender to 
the government, in the event of war, of the services of its mem- 
bers as professional pilots on the Mississippi River. Samuel R. 
Van Sant was reelected president, and Fred A. Bill, secretary- 
treasurer. A full account of the meeting was contributed to the 
March 3 issue of the Saturday Evening Post (Burlington, Iowa) 
by Mr. Bill. 

A movement, led by Dr. Herman Fjelde of Fargo, North Da- 
kota, has been inaugurated among the Scandinavians of the Red 
River Valley to collect material pertaining to their early settle- 
ment in that region. An account of the project, together with 
information concerning the first Scandinavian settlers in the 
valley, appeared in the Crookston Weekly Times of February 3, 
under the title "Valley Folks Will Compile Norse History." 

The fifty-eighth annual meeting of the Winona County Old 
Settlers' Association was held at Winona, February 22. About 
five hundred and fifty pioneers, including representatives from 
every section of the county, were in attendance at the dinner. 
The following officers were reelected for the coming year : H. L. 




Buck, president; J. T. Blair, vice-president at large; Mrs. A. A. 
Marvin, secretary ; and Edward Pelzer, treasurer. An executive 
committee of eight members and a vice-president from each town 
of the county were chosen. The principal speaker at the exer- 
cises following the business meeting was Edward Lees of 
Winona, who, after giving a brief description of the region of 
Winona County as it appeared to Lieutenant Pike and Major 
Long, in 1805 and 1823 respectively, devoted the greater part of 
his address to an account of the early settlement of the county 
and to a comparison of the economic and social conditions of 
pioneer days with those of the present time. Mr. Lees's address 
is printed in full in the Winona Herald of February 22. 

The Red Lake County Old Settlers' Association was formally 
organized on April 20 at Red Lake Falls. The following officers 
were elected : Eli Lasha, president ; Evangeliste Quesnell, vice- 
president at large ; E. B. Buse, secretary ; A. J. Pouliot, treasurer ; 
Frank Jeffers, historian ; a vice-president was named from each 
town, village, and community in the county. Membership in the 
association is limited to those who have resided in the county for 
thirty-five years or more. The names of seventy-six of the 
charter members, together with the dates of their settlement in 
the county, were published in the March 22 and 29 issues of the 
Red Lake Falls Gazette. 

About one hundred and fifty former residents of St. Peter 
living in Minneapolis and St. Paul met at the rooms of the St. 
Paul Association, April 14, and organized the St. Peter Associa- 
tion of the Twin Cities. The exercises following the banquet 
were presided over by Thomas J. McDermott of St. Paul. Gideon 
S. Ives of St. Paul, Judge E. A. Montgomery of Minneapolis, 
State Senator Henry N. Benson of St. Peter, and Judge Henry 
Moll of St. Peter made short addresses giving their recollections 
of the early history of St. Peter, and Superintendent C. G. Schulz 
of St. Paul discussed the educational influence of St. Peter in 
the Northwest. T. J. McDermott was elected president of the 
association, Miss Hermine Konig of Minneapolis, corresponding 
secretary, and Oswald D. Curtis of St. Paul, treasurer. 

A permanent association of former residents of Murray County 
living in Minneapolis and St. Paul was organized at their first 




annual meeting on April 14 in St. Anthony Park. Mr. Ira C. 
Peterson of Minneapolis was elected president, Mr. J. A. Max- 
well of St. Paul, secretary and treasurer, and Mr. Neil Currie of 
St. Paul, historian, of the association. The names of heads of 
families eligible for membership were published in the Fulda 
Free Press of April 27. 

The sixtieth anniversary of the organization of Plymouth Con- 
gregational Church of Minneapolis was celebrated on April 26. 
In a series of four-minute talks the various periods and phases 
of the history of the church were covered briefly. 

A list of the first settlers of Winnebago City Township, Fari- 
bault County, with the dates of their arrival, is published in the 
Winnebago City Press-News of February 24. 

A biography of Peter Maurin has been appearing serially in 
Wheelock's Weekly (Fergus Falls) since January 25. The series 
contains some valuable material on the early history of Stearns 
and Otter Tail counties, particularly as relates to the develop- 
ment of business enterprises and of methods of transportation. 
Mr. Maurin was born in the province of Carniola, Austria, and, 
with his brother Marcus, came to Minnesota in 1859. They at 
once embarked in the business of selling merchandise, going 
from place to place throughout the central part of the state, at 
first carrying their packs on their shoulders, later traveling with 
horses and wagons. In 1864 they settled at Cold Spring, Stearns 
County, where they soon built up an extensive trade in merchan- 
dise, grain, and fur. In 1871 Peter Maurin removed to Eliza- 
beth, Otter Tail County, and was engaged in business there until 
his death in August, 1914. 

Mr. W. V. Working of Henderson contributed to the April 5 
issue of the Belle Plaine Herald an account of an old cave on 
Ney hill in Tyrone, not far from where Scott, Sibley, and Le 
Sueur counties meet. The cave is an excavation made during the 
summer of 1862 by a small band of pioneers living in the vicinity 
as a place of refuge from the Indians. The writer's description 
of the little settlement and of its experiences during the Sioux 
outbreak is based on the recollections of Mrs. John Brahs of 
Henderson, the sole survivor of the pioneer Tyrone settlement. 




Interesting and valuable incidents in the musical history of 
Minneapolis were contributed to the February 18 issue of the 
Minneapolis Journal by Charles H. Freeman and Wheeler W. 
Sidwell, two of the city's oldest musicians, in an article devoted 
to the life and activities of Franz Danz Sr. Mr. Danz, whose 
death occurred in Los Angeles, California, February 6, came to 
Minneapolis in 1878 and at once took an active part in musical 
affairs, being the founder of the well-known Danz band and 
orchestra. A picture of Mr. Sidwell accompanies the article. 

A picture of the first locomotive to run into Minneapolis over 
the Minnesota Central Railroad, and a reproduction of the first 
time card issued by the road, appeared in the Minneapolis Jour- 
nal of February 18, accompanying a sketch of Edwin A. Wright, 
the road's first engineer, whose death occurred in Milwaukee, 
Wisconsin, February 7. The Minnesota Central Railroad, the 
northern division of which, extending from Minneapolis to Fari- 
bault, was completed in October, 1865, is now a part of the Iowa 
and Minnesota division of the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul 

The beginnings of the Minneapolis street railway system are 
described in an article in the Minneapolis Journal of April 8. 
Some interesting details in connection with the construction, 
management, and method of operation of the horse-car lines of 
the early seventies are furnished by Mr. Amos Caverly of Minne- 
apolis, who took out the first car over the first stretch of track to 
be completed. 

The April 26 issue of the Slayton Gazette contains a letter 
written by Mrs. A. B. Lester, a pioneer resident of Murray 
County, which gives an account of the first school and of the first 
religious meetings conducted in the county as well as some in- 
teresting facts about the early settlers. 

The story of the extension of the city limits of Minneapolis 
in 1867 so that Dorilus Morrison would be eligible for the office 
of mayor is told by Frederick A. Penny in the Minneapolis 
Journal of March 4 under the title "Pioneer Recalls How City 
Obtained Its First Mayor." 


Vol. 2, No. 3 
Whole No. 11 
August, 1917 



The development of banking in Minnesota is a record of 
economic evolution. Banking has invariably been the out- 
growth of certain special needs of the industrial and commer- 
cial world. A place of deposit is required for the accumula- 
tion and safe-keeping of money and capital ; exchange becomes 
a necessity for the wider extension of the business operations 
of mercantile and commercial institutions; and a demand for 
loans and discounts is created by increasing trade and eco- 
nomic development. In a new country, especially, growing 
commercial enterprises have certain wants which are satisfied 
only by banking institutions performing the functions of 
deposit, discount, note issue, and exchange. To understand 
the development of the banking institutions of Minnesota 
requires that the beginnings be traced from the earliest stages 
of economic life and from the first exchanges of economic 

History demonstrates that the first steps taken in the settle- 
ment of a new country are generally due to the discovery of 
some real or potential source of wealth, that is, some natural 
resource. The first people to venture into a new land are the 
explorers. Exploiters, soldiers, and, perhaps, missionaries 
follow ; in the course of time, if conditions are favorable, per- 
manent settlers begin to arrive, and industries and commerce 
develop. In the territory now comprising Minnesota, as in a 
large part of North America, the magnetic natural resource 
which drew the first white men was the fur-bearing animals. 

1 A thesis submitted to the faculty of the graduate school of the 
University of Minnesota in June, 1915, in partial fulfillment of the 
requirements for the degree of Master of Arts; read in part at the 
stated meeting of the Minnesota Historical Society, December 11, 1916. 





The fur trade introduced this portion of the country to the 
civilized world and provided the first step in the commercial 
development of the region. It is in the operations of the fur 
companies, then, that the beginnings of banking are to be 

The French were the pioneers in developing the fur trade 
of the Northwest. From the time when they first gained a 
foothold along the lower waters of the St. Lawrence River, 
adventurous coureurs de bois and voyageurs made their way 
up this river and throughout the region of the Great Lakes, 
whence they returned with canoes laden with valuable peltries. 
It is known definitely that two of these traders came back to 
Montreal in August, 1656, after a two years' sojourn in a 
country some five hundred leagues to the west. These men, 
now identified by many historians as Medard Chouart, Sieur 
des Groseilliers, and Pierre d'Esprit, Sieur de Radisson, were 
probably the first white men in Minnesota. 2 Their enthusi- 
astic accounts, as well as the furs they succeeded in bringing 
back, aroused traders and explorers alike ; and by the first years 
of the eighteenth century several trading posts were established 
along the Great Lakes and in the Mississippi Valley. 3 

The French continued to control the fur trade in this region 
until 1760, when, by the fortunes of war, France lost her 
American colonies, Canada and her dependencies passing under 
the dominion of England. English merchants and trading 
firms at once superseded the French trading companies. The 
beginning of the American Revolution found the Montreal 
merchants firmly established in the Northwest. Their suprem- 
acy in this region, however, did not go unchallenged. 
Already traders from New York were making vigorous efforts 
to' gain some share in the fur business — efforts which the war 
for independence for a time terminated, but which at its close 

2 Thwaites (ed.), Jesuit Relations, 42:219, 296 n. 11; Folwell, Minne- 
sota, the North Star State, 7-13. 

3 Neill, "The French Voyageurs to Minnesota" in Minnesota Histori- 
cal Collections, 1:17-36 (1872 ed.), and "A Sketch of Joseph Renville" 
in Minnesota Historical Collections, 1 : 197. 




were renewed ; while in the North the Hudson's Bay Company 
was opposing all attempts to encroach on what it very properly 
considered its territory. The need of concerted action in order 
to exclude American traders, on the one hand, and to meet the 
opposition of the Hudson's Bay Company, on the other hand, 
as well as a desire to eliminate competition, led to the forma- 
tion of large trading companies. The Northwest Company, 
organized in 1783, by absorbing gradually smaller rival con- 
cerns, by the year 1804 gained exclusive control of the region 
beyond Lake Superior, including much of the territory nomi- 
nally belonging to the United States which was still dominated 
by the English by virtue of their retention of the military 
posts along the Great Lakes and in the Mississippi Valley. 
The Michillimackinac Company was organized in 1806 for 
the control of the trade in the upper Mississippi, south of the 
region controlled by the Northwest Company. This company 
met with little success. The operations of the government 
trading factories established by the United States at various 
points on the frontier and the growing business of the Ameri- 
can Fur Company, organized in 1808 by John Jacob Astor, 
contributed to its failure. In 1810 the company was dissolved. 
Two of the trading firms forming the partnership immediately 
organized a new company, which in the following year joined 
with the American Fur Company in a new concern called the 
Southwest Company. These trading firms were also share- 
holders in the Northwest Company; and an agreement was 
entered into by which the latter company was to confine its 
trade to the Indians of the British dominions, and the South- 
west Company, to those south of the boundary. The disor- 
ganization of the fur trade during the War of 1812 led to the 
dissolution of the Southwest Company. The passage by Con- 
gress in 1816 of a law prohibiting foreign traders from oper- 
ating within the territories of the United States marked the 
withdrawal of the British trading companies from the Mis- 
sissippi Valley. 4 The American Fur Company succeeded them 

4 United States, Statutes at Large, 3 : 332. 




in the control of the fur trade; and thereafter for many years, 
under various owners and titles, was commercially and politi- 
cally the greatest single force in the development of the region 
of which Minnesota forms a part. 5 

In the transactions carried on by the fur-traders no metallic 
money was used, furs being exchanged by the Indians for 
guns, ammunition, blankets, calicoes, knives, tobacco, rum, 
wampum, and various other articles. One of the foremost 
explorers and students of this region, Henry R. Schoolcraft, 
wrote in 1834 that the "standard of value and computation in 
this trade, is an abiminikwa, or prime beaver, called plus by 
the French." Under this system of barter the astute traders 
were able to reap large profits. 6 In the early part of the 
nineteenth century the credit system began to develop. Indians 
were permitted to obtain various articles at the trading posts 
and were given credit according to their hunting and trapping 
ability; in payment therefor they were required to turn over 
their furs to the trader with whom they had an account. 7 

5 Minnesota Pioneer (St. Paul), August 22, 29, 1850; Minnesota Chron- 
icle and Register (St. Paul), August 26, 1850. For further details on 
the history of the fur trade, see Stevens, "The Organization of the Brit- 
ish Fur Trade" in the Mississippi Valley Historical Review, 3:172-202; 
Chittenden, The American Fur Trade of the Far West (New York, 1902). 

6 "A plus, tradition states, was given for as much vermilion as would 
cover the point of a case knife, and the same price was paid respectively 
for four charges of powder, or four charges of shot, or fifteen balls, or 
two branches of wampum." In 1784 furs were reduced to plus on the 
following basis : A bear, an otter, three martens, a lynx, and fifteen 
muskrats were worth, respectively, one plus; a buffalo robe was worth 
two plus, and a keg of mixed rum, of standard size, was worth thirty 
plus. As examples of the large profits enjoyed by the traders School- 
craft cites one instance in which goods worth $2,000 were given in 
exchange for furs worth about $34,560, and another in which a fine gun 
worth about $51 was traded to a chief at one of the northern posts for 
120 pounds of beaver worth about $480. Narrative of an Expedition 
through the Upper Mississippi to Itasca Lake in 1832, 89, 90 (New York, 
1834). See also Sibley in Minnesota Historical Collections, 3:171. 

7 Sibley in Minnesota Historical Collections, 1 : 465 ; Schoolcraft, Nar- 
rative of an Expedition, 90; Smoky Day to Sibley, December 1, 1836, in 
the Sibley Papers. 




Development along another line began in 1819, when a 
•detachment of United States soldiers was sent up the Missis- 
sippi to establish a post at the mouth of the St. Peter's or Min- 
nesota River. In the early summer of 1823 the first steamboat 
on the upper Mississippi, the little "Virginia," laden with sup- 
plies, picked its way up the river to Fort St. Anthony, later to 
be known as Fort Snelling. Thereafter each season steam- 
boats came regularly to the fort. 8 Almost a decade passed 
after the advent of the soldiers, however, before settlers began 
to arrive in numbers. 9 

As a result of the treaties negotiated with the Sioux and 
the Chippewa in 1837, the United States government gained 
possession of the land between the Mississippi and the St. 
Croix rivers south of a line drawn through the mouth of the 
Crow Wing; and, after the ratification of the treaties in the 
following year, this area was open to settlement. 10 Immigra- 
tion was light. In the next few years small settlements were 
made at St. Paul, St. Peter's (Mendota), Pembina on the 
Red River of the North, and Marine and Dakota (Stillwater) 
•on the St. Croix; along the latter river a few farms were also 
scattered. 11 When Minnesota Territory was organized in 
1849, its population numbered 4,680, of which 840 were in 
St. Paul, 637 in Pembina, and 609 in Stillwater. 12 

8 Neill, "Occurrences in and around Fort Snelling from 1819 to 1840" 
in Minnesota Historical Collections, 2 : 103, 107. Up to May 26, 1826, 
fifteen steamboats had arrived at Fort Snelling; by 1839 there were nine 
steamboats making regular trips to the post. Baker, "History of Trans- 
portation in Minnesota" in Minnesota Historical Collections, 9:16. 

9 Several families of refugees from the Selkirk settlement on the Red 
River of the North settled on the Fort Snelling reservation during the 
years from 1822 to 1836. A report of the commandant in 1837 gives the 
number of white inhabitants (exclusive of the soldiers) in the vicinity of 
the post as 157, of whom 75 were connected with the establishments of 
the fur companies. Williams, History of the City of St. Paul, 42, 60 
(M. H. C. vol. 4) ; Adams, "Early Days at Red River Settlement and 
Fort Snelling" in Minnesota Historical Collections, 6:88. 

10 Kappler, Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties, 2:491-494 (Washing- 
ton, 1S04). 

11 Le Due, Minnesota Year Book, 1851, pp. 25-32. 

12 Council lournal, 1849, p. 183. 




The business of the fur company was extended in the years 
following 1837 to include transactions other than those per- 
taining peculiarly to the fur trade. The Indians no longer 
considered it necessary to tender furs in payment of their 
credits, but paid the traders in money at the regular govern- 
ment payments. It is needless to say that the traders exercised 
great care that they should be at the place designated for the 
payments, bringing stocks of goods with them. 13 Thus, it 
came about that the fur company not only dealt in furs, but 
also sold goods on credit, to be paid for later in cash — a 
strictly retail business. With the arrival of more settlers this 
retail department was enlarged to supply their needs, and the 
company entered into competition with other business houses. 14 

A second line of departure was brought about by the occa- 
sional demands of the people for certain banking services. 
These demands were too irregular and too small in volume to 
justify the establishment of banks; and the people naturally 
turned to the American Fur Company, the strongest moneyed 
institution in the territory, for the satisfaction of these needs. 
The company, therefore, began to extend to explorers, mis- 
sionaries, and others the privilege, previously accorded only to 
its own employees, of using it as a fiscal agent. Its activity 
in this field requires examination, for it is in these transactions 
that banking really finds its beginnings in Minnesota. The 
company made loans, cashed drafts on eastern cities and St. 
Louis, and sold exchange on its offices in New York and other 
places. It carried some of these loans on its books as credits 
(checking accounts), and honored drafts drawn against them 
whenever presented. It collected customers' notes falling due 
in other sections of the country, and it also acted as the agent 
of eastern people in the collection of notes from local inhabi- 
tants. Its local operations were greatly facilitated by the 
"outfits" (trading posts) established at various points through- 

13 H. L. Dousman to Sibley, December 22, 1837, November 2, 1838; 
to David Aitkin, September 26, 1838, in the Sibley Papers. 

14 Minnesota Pioneer, April 24, June 2, 1851. 




out the Indian country; and its various foreign operations, by 
the main office in New York. 15 

While the company realized a profit on these banking oper- 
ations, nevertheless it suffered some losses, which were inevit- 
able at the time because of the lack of rapid communication 
and the uncertainties of the monetary situation. Protested 

15 Henry H. Sibley, afterwards the first governor of the state of 
Minnesota, arrived at St. Peter's (Mendota) in 1834 as resident partner 
and manager of the American Fur Company. His daybook and letter files, 
now in the possession of the Minnesota Historical Society, contain con- 
siderable material for this particular phase of the subject. Illustrations 
of the fur company's banking operations are too numerous to be given 
here, but a few examples will suffice to corroborate these statements. 

"I enclose you my own acceptance @ 3 dys for one hundred dollars, 
being the amt. you wish to borrow from me, and which I advance you 
with much pleasure. The draft will be cashed by any of the boats, or 
by R. H. Campbell Esq. in Galena." Sibley to H. L. Moss at Stillwater, 
August 11, 1849. 

"I have advanced Doct. Norwood of the Geological Corps the sum 
of $390. which he expects to get from Mr. Carter at your place, in which 
case, I have requested him to turn the amt. over to you, taking your 
receipt therefor." Sibley to R. H. Campbell at Galena, September 27, 1849. 

An entry in Sibley's daybook for August 23, 1838, shows that F. Ayer, 
a missionary among the Indians of the Snake River district, credited the 
Pokegama mission with a draft drawn on New York, at ten days, in favor 
of G. M. Tracy. 

"We duly honored the 3 drafts you drew on us at Prairie du Chien 
last fall, say for $908.08 which we charged as directed on the face of the 
bills." Ramsay Crooks, president of the American Fur Company, to 
Aitkin, New York, April 7, 1840. 

On July 9, 1838, the expedition of J. N. Nicollet was charged in 
Sibley's daybook with "paid order, Moyese Arcand $25.00," and on Sep- 
tember 17 of the same year, a draft drawn to the account of this expedi- 
tion upon P. Choteau and Company of St. Louis in favor of H. H. Sibley 
was charged to Western Outfit, indicating that a checking account was 
kept with the fur company by the expedition. 

On October 24, 1838, Joseph Renville Sr. wrote to Sibley from Lac qui 
Parle, asking that the latter give Dr. Williamson, a missionary, one 
hundred dollars and charge the amount to his (Renville's) account; and on 
November 25, 1835, Dr. Williamson, writing to Sibley from the same place, 
said: "I send you above a draught on M r Tracy of New York for 112 
dollars & 14 cents. This with the 25 dollars which you told me you 
intended contributing to the Board . . . covers all the orders I have 
drawn on you togeth[er] with 15 dollars for corn which we have obtained 




drafts drawn on people in the East were one source of loss; 
the notes of insolvent state banks in other parts of the country 
were another. 16 The fact that the company continued its 
operations in this field is sufficient proof that it realized a net 
profit from these transactions. 

With the creation by Congress in 1849 of the territory of 
Minnesota, a change took place in the industrial and commer- 

from M r Brown and fifteen dollars fifty five cents which you will please 
credit to M r Renvills account and charge to ours." 

"I wish to draw some money from the savings bank, at Quebec, and I 
<lo not know of a surer way of getting it than by asking you." G. A. 
Belcourt, missionary at Pembina, to Sibley, June 14, 1849. 

"Understanding that the maker of the enclosed note is in your country, 
I take the liberty of handing to you his (Louis Brunelle's) note dated 
Sault Ste Marie 11 Augt 1831, payable 1 July 1832. . . . Whatever you 
may collect have passed to the credit of the office in New York for % 
of St Marys Outfit." Crooks to Sibley, Mackinac, October 18, 1836. 

"Mr. Brown starts in the morning by Land for your place. I have 
advanced him $85.90 & charged Sioux Outfit." Dousman to Sibley, 
Prairie du Chien, November 5, 1838. 

"I enclose with this an acct. against Mooers for $25.75 which he will 
pay you — also Farribaults acct. which charge to him, & his note which 
can be given up to him." Dousman to Sibley, June 20, 1836. 

"I have this day drawn on you in favour of M r Charles Grant for 
the sum of one hundred and seventy two 17/100 dollars, which I will 
thank you to accept and charge to a/ct of my outfit." Kittson to Sibley, 
Pembina, August 30, 1848. 

"We have credited Western Outfit 1841 for the Rev d Dr Gavins draft 
on Lentilhon & Co paid 6 July 1842 $916.67 and W m Leiths draft on 
W m Smith." Crooks to Sibley, New York, July 7, 1842. 

16 "Order H L Dousman on M r De Rham for $1000 was refused ; and 
Mr Chouteau took it up on the 21 Jany 1837 for the honor of the endorser — 
So this $1000 will also go back to the Prairie & Mess Pratte Chouteau & 
Co be paid for the amount. ... Be cautious whose draft you take. But 
few are good." Crooks to J. Rolette at Prairie du Chien, May 26, 1837. 
H. L. Dousman on November 6, 1838, wrote Sibley from Prairie du Chien 
that of $645.50 in bank bills sent him by the latter $71.50 were counterfeit, 
and the greater portion of the rest were Wisconsin bank notes then not 
current and not received anywhere. "Take no more of them — Illinois, 
Indiana, Missouri & Detroit City Banks are the only ones current & take 
none other — all Michigan notes are entirely rejected." B. W. Brisbois of 
the Western Outfit at Prairie du Chien wrote William Forbes at Mendota 
•on February 26, 1842, "The Illinois Banks are going down fast. We have 
stop d taking it." 




cial, as well as the political, life of the people. New fields 
of activity were opened; and, to meet the new and growing 
needs of industries and commerce, banking in Minnesota 
entered upon the second distinct period of its development. 
The American Fur Company had rendered, and continued to 
render, great service to the people of this region ; but, as the 
incoming merchants and business men began to look to other 
institutions for assistance in financial transactions, the prestige 
formerly enjoyed by the company gradually waned. 

The Beginnings of Private Banks, 1849-55 

The organization of Minnesota as a territory called atten- 
tion to possible opportunities. This region was still mainly 
Indian country with but a few small and scattered settlements 
in that part of the territory which had been ceded to the 
government. In 1849 St. Paul was a small village, "just 
emerging from a collection of Indian whiskey shops, and 
birch-roofed cabins of half-breed voyageurs." 17 Its ad- 
vantageous location at the head of navigation on the Missis- 
sippi just below the confluence of that river with the Minne- 
sota, and the fact that it was the capital of the territory, com- 
bined to make it the Mecca of the immigrants coming into 
the region and the gateway for all traffic in the Minnesota and 
upper Mississippi valleys. 18 It was natural, therefore, that 
St. Paul should become the business center in the early devel- 
opment of Minnesota. 

The United States census of 1850 shows that the white 
population had increased to 6,077, distributed by counties as 
follows: Ramsey, 2,227: Kittson (and Roseau), 1,134; 

17 Neill, History of Minnesota, 494 (Minneapolis, 1882, 4th edition). 
Mr. Neill, according to the Weekly Minnesotian (St. Paul) of April 9, 
1853, came to Minnesota in April, 1849, and for some years was prominent 
in religious work in St. Paul. He was a careful student of the history 
of Minnesota, and his writings are considered reliable. 

18 An efficient barometer of prosperity in those days is furnished by 
the number of steamboat arrivals, which for the years 1848 to 1852 were 
47, 73, 104, 119, and 171, respectively. Weekly Minnesotian, April 9, 1853. 




Washington, 1,056; Dakota, 584; Benton, 418; Wabasha, 
243; Wahnahta, 160; Mahkahto, 158; and Itasca, 97. 19 
Immigration increased rapidly after the negotiation and ratifi- 
cation of the Sioux treaties of 1851. 20 In the early summer 
of 1853 five steamboats engaged in the Minnesota River trade 
carried capacity cargoes and numerous passengers. Villages 
grew up in the valley of the Minnesota and farms appeared 
in all directions. 21 This growth was merely a forerunner of 
the unprecedented immigration of the four succeeding years. 

The people migrating to Minnesota were hardy frontiers- 
men, with slender financial resources — typical of those who 
have always been in the vanguard of settlement. As a class 
they were far superior in morality, education, and intelligence 
to the pioneers of many of the older territories. A large part 
were farmers who came west with wagons and stock. 22 There 
were practically no established industries, and the quantity 
of ready money — insufficient even in the better settled and 
more industrially advanced communities — was far too meager 
for business purposes. 23 In order to supply the finances neces- 
sary for industrial and commercial advancement money was 
brought in from outside the state, in payment for which high 
rates of interest were exacted. Rates varying from two to j 
five per cent a month were prevalent, even for loans based on i 
good security. A large part of this money went, however, I 
not into industries, but into real estate, in response to the i 
popular cry of "Land ! more land !" 24 

19 United States Census, 1850, p. 993. 

20 St. Anthony Express, July 16, 1852. For the text of the Sioux 
treaties concluded at Traverse des Sioux and Mendota, see Kappler, I 
Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties, 2 : 588-593. 

21 Minnesota Democrat (St. Paul), May 11, 1853. 

22 Sibley, "Reminiscences of the Early Days of Minnesota" in Minne- 1 
sota Historical Collections, 3:244; Minnesota Pioneer, June 23, 1853; St. j 
Anthony Express, June 21, July 12, 1851 ; Minnesota Democrat, August 4, i 

23 The lumber and logging industries had come into prominence after 
the building of the first mill in 1838 on the St. Croix River. 

24 St. Anthony Express, March 13, 1852 ; Minnesota Democrat, Novem- 
ber 17, 1852. 




The scarcity of capital, the high rates of interest, the 
increasing population, and the growing industries and com- 
merce provided rich opportunities for a bank of issue as a 
means of increasing the supply of money. But all attempts in 
this direction met with such strenuous opposition that no 
institution of this kind having legal or public sanction was 
established during the territorial period. 25 The hostile atti- 
tude of the people arose from the fact that many had had 
unpleasant experiences with "wildcat" banks and "cheap cur- 
rency" in other states and had no desire to repeat such expe- 
riences in their new home. 26 Several attempts were made, 
however, to establish banks of issue, the first of which was, 
so far as has been discovered, the Bank of Saint Croix, in 

In September of that year a stranger by the name of Isaac 
Young induced a Mr. Sawyer, then a resident of St. Paul, 
"to sign a large number of handsomely engraved pieces of 
paper; on which were engraved the words 'Bank of Saint 
Croix, Saint Paul, Minnesota/ or something of that purport." 
The signer understood that they "would be promptly redeemed 
when issued." These bank notes were quoted at the time 
"in the Eastern bank note lists at one per cent, discount; the 
quotation being doubtless furnished by some accomplice in the 
fraud, living in Wall street, N. Y. city." Young disappeared 
from St. Paul and when next heard of was in St. Louis buying 
goods with this money, which had been given value by favor- 
able quotations in the current bank note lists. The extent to 
which these notes were placed in circulation in Minnesota is 
not known, but Sawyer stated that he had signed only a small 
amount, between five and seven hundred dollars. The public 
at large was notified that no such bank existed in Minnesota 

25 Minnesota Pioneer, July 14, 1853. 

26 The editor of the Minnesota Chronicle and Register in the issue of 
January 12, 1850, wrote in this connection : "We are no especial sticklers 
for Banks of any kind, or in any community, and most certainly no 
apologists for irredeemable Bank issues. Our pockets have suffered 
considerably in by-gone days from this cause." 




and that, if people ever heard of an institution of this char- 
acter as existing in the territory, they should consider it "a 
fraudulent, unlicensed concern." 27 

That the intention of the promoters of this enterprise was 
to flood the territory south of Minnesota with these notes 
when navigation closed is not known, but that the situation 
appeared serious is indicated by the articles published in the 
papers of Galena and St. Louis, and also by the following 
apologetic notice in Presbury and Company's Counterfeit 

Bank of St. Croix. — We have stricken this Bank from our 
"Detector," with this explanation : 

A few days previous to the issuing of our October number, 
Mr. Daniels, of this city, introduced to us a gentleman by the 
name of Young, who informed us that he, with some other 
capitalists, were about to establish a Bank at St. Paul, and 
showed us two notes — one of the denomination of "one dollar," 
the other for "two dollars". He also stated that but few had 
been signed, and that no more would be issued until the charter 
had been sanctioned by the authority of law. He left those two 
notes with us, and money sufficient to redeem all that was issued. 

Upon this representation we mentioned the money in the 
Detector, giving holders of the notes information when they 
would be redeemed. 

Since the mention of the paper above alluded to, we have 
been advised that it is improbable that the Legislature of the 
Territory would grant any such charter. 28 

This notoriety was sufficient not only to prevent the circulation 
of many notes of this bank, concerning which discussion soon 
ceased, but also to dampen the ardor of other "wildcatters." It 
was not until the year 1853 that the attempt to establish insti- 
tutions of this type was renewed. 29 

27 Minnesota Pioneer, November 15, December 12, 1849. 

28 Quoted in the Minnesota Pioneer of January 9, 1850, from the Mis- 
souri Republican of St. Louis. Other articles on this subject from Galena 
and St. Louis papers appeared in the Pioneer of January 2 and 9, 1850. 

29 The Minnesota Pioneer of November 17, 1853, contained an article 
on business opportunities in St. Paul, in which it was asserted that there 
was "no bank" (i. e. bank of issue) in that city, although under the heading 




In contrast to the attitude assumed towards banks of issue 
was that regarding offices of discount. As early as 1850 the 
question arose regarding the advisability of establishing such 
an office in order to alleviate the financial distress to which 
business was subject whenever government payments were 
delayed. These payments were largely Indian annuities and 
formed the main source of ready money for the traders, who- 
made easy prey of the Indians. 30 To render the financial sit- 
uation more acute, the money derived from the Indian pay- 
ments could not be retained for local circulation but was 
drained from the territory in payment for provisions and for 
freight thereon, since, with the exception of lumber and cran- 
berries, Minnesota as yet imported practically everything worn' 
or consumed in the territory. 31 

With characteristic American optimism, however, capital 
alone was thought necessary to make Minnesota a great agri- 
cultural region and a "better . . . manufacturing country 
than any of the Eastern and Middle States." For supplying 
this capital a loan office was considered desirable inasmuch as 
it was "free from the objections to banking," since a bank 
relied upon its charter for its credit, whereas a loan office 
would "rely upon its capital to sustain its credit." Again in 
November, 1851, an editorial in one of the St. Paul papers 
discussed the need of a loan office. The article maintained 

"Bankers and Exchange Brokers" three offices of discount and deposit 
were listed. The early territorial governors were opposed to banks of 
issue, and repeatedly urged upon the legislature the advisability of post- 
poning the enactment of measures establishing such institutions. See 
especially the messages of Governor Ramsey and of Governor Gorman 
in House Journal, 1852, p. 31 ; 1854, p. 30. 

30 "Building, purchases of property, purchases of provisions, all busi- 
ness transactions, turn, now, upon the hinge of the United States 
Treasury; all contracts almost, and most expenditures, are made in 
anticipation of some payment, which is to be made, of public money." 
Minnesota Pioneer, November 7, 1850. 

31 Minnesota Pioneer, October 17, November 7, 1850. In the Minnesota 
Democrat of December 22, 1852, the statement is made that "over $200,000 
of the Sioux money went below in drafts and bank notes, by the last 




that such an "office at St. Paul, from which to borrow, not 
paper, but money, might facilitate the business of lumbering 
or Indian payments by anticipating sales or payments, and thus 
equalizing the amount of currency more between periods of 
payment, and preventing extreme pressure and tension." 32 The 
response to this suggestion was not long in forthcoming. In 
January, 1852, Charles H. Oakes of the fur company adver- 
tised that he had money to loan ; and, as the field was so large, 
other loan offices were opened the same year. 33 

In the meantime other events of great importance to the 
banking business of the territory had taken place. As early 
as May 1, 1851, Charles W. Borup, also of the fur company, 
began dealing in bills of exchange and drafts on all parts of 
the United States, with his office in the building of the Minne- 
sota Outfit, St. Paul. 34 In June of the next year Messrs. 
Borup and Oakes formed a partnership. This establishment 
met with no opposition; on the contrary, those most bitterly 
opposed to banks of issue gave hearty support to the new insti- 
tution. 35 

Borup and Oakes did not long enjoy a monopoly of the 
banking business in Minnesota. Before the end of 1853 
Smith, Newell, and Company, William Brewster and Com- 
pany, and C. H. Parker had established similar offices ; and by 
November 1, 1854, five other banking houses were in opera- 
tion in St. Paul. 36 In the same year the growth of population 
increased financial needs so rapidly in other communities that 

^Minnesota Pioneer, November 21, 1850, November 20, 1851. 

33 Weekly Minnesotian, January 24, November 6, 1852; Minnesota 
Pioneer, July 8, October 18, 1852. 

34 Minnesota Pioneer, May 1, 1851. 

35 The Minnesota Pioneer, the organ of the antibanking element, in 
giving notice of this event on July 1, 1852, said, "That is what we want — 
men of capital, cash men and not paper banking institutions." 

36 Minnesota Pioneer, January 6, November 24, 1853. The Minnesota 
Democrat of November 1, 1854, listed the banking houses as follows : 
Borup and Oakes, C. H. Parker, A. Vance Brown, William Brewster, 
Mackubin and Edgerton, Truman M. Smith, Brown and Fletcher, Rice, 
Hollinshead, and Becker, and George K. Smith. 




R. Martin, Tracy and Farnham, and the C. L. Chase Land 
Company in St. Anthony, and S. J. R. McMillan in Stillwater, 
opened banking houses. 37 Within the next three years sim- 
ilar institutions were established in other localities. All these 
establishments were private banks, having no fixed capital and 
under no regulation save that of commercial honor. In gen- 
eral, they transacted the same kind of business as that of Borup 
and Oakes — a commercial banking business — making loans 
and discounts, dealing in exchange, making collections, and 
later receiving deposits, on which the rate of interest, because 
of the competition among the banks, rose to seven and twelve 
per cent a year. The majority of these institutions also con- 
ducted a real estate business. 38 

Banking operations were conducted under difficulties. The 
isolation of the territory and the lack of currency placed the 
bankers at a decided disadvantage. The rate of exchange on 
eastern cities varied from one to five per cent, and, since home 
products were insufficient to satisfy the needs of the rapidly 
increasing population, none could be exported; consequently 
exchange had to be created by shipments of gold and cur- 
rency. 39 The nearest railroads terminated on the east bank of 
the Mississippi at La Crosse and Prairie du Chien, so that 
shipments had to be made by steamboat in the summer and by 
stage in the winter. 40 

The quality of the currency furnished another problem for 
the bankers. For a short time after the organization of the 
territory the limited amount of currency consisted almost 
entirely of specie, but soon counterfeit and irredeemable bank 
notes made their appearance, thereby necessitating close scru- 
tiny and the use of bank-note detectors. In this connection the 

37 St. Anthony Express, May 6, August 19, September 23, 1854; 
Weekly Minnesotian, August 19, 1854. 

38 Minnesota Pioneer, December 22, 1853 ; Minnesota Democrat, Decem- 
ber 21, 1853, November 1, 1854. 

39 Minnesota Democrat, November 1, 1854. 

40 Isaac Atwater (ed.), History of the City of Minneapolis, 486 (New 
York, 1893). 




bankers and newspapers rendered great service by publishing, 
from time to time, lists of counterfeit notes or those rendered 
worthless by the failure of the issuing banks. Cognizant of 
the splendid opportunities offered for the circulation of their 
notes, individuals and banks sent agents to Minnesota with 
large quantities of their small bills for "purposes of specula- 
tion and imposition." The merchants, and the public as well, 
suffered no inconsiderable losses from these spurious issues, 
and in the winter of 1853-54 the situation became so serious 
that the business men of St. Paul. petitioned the territorial leg- 
islature for relief. They urged the passage of a measure for- 
bidding "the circulation ... of all bills of whatever 
kind, designed as currency, under the denomination of ten dol- 
lars, with heavy penalties for the violation of the law," which 
was then before the legislature, but which failed to pass. 41 

Among the "shinplasters" were found a few notes of a local 
"bank." It soon developed that "a Shinplaster financier by the 
name of Israel Smith" had left New York shortly before with 
a large amount of notes of the "Merchants and Mechanic's 
Bank, Iowa," en route to St. Paul or St. Anthony, where he 
intended to establish a bank. 42 Upon his arrival at the latter 
place he prevailed upon one of the citizens — reputable but 
poor — to sign notes of the Merchants' and Mechanics' Bank 
of St. Anthony. Attempts were then made in St. Paul to pass j 
bills in denominations of from one dollar to ten dollars but 
without much success, only four or five hundred dollars pass- 
ing into circulation. Smith then left for Galena, where he 
falsely reported, for the purpose of giving his notes value, that 
he had received the permission of Governor Gorman of Minne- 
sota Territory to establish his St. Anthony bank. Not long | 

41 St. Anthony Express, December 13, 1851, June 17, November 19, 
1853; Minnesota Democrat, January 26, 1853, November 1, 1854; Minne- 
sota Pioneer, February 22, March 1, 1855. For the text of the petition, 
see Council Journal, 1854, appendix, p. 177. 

42 The Minnesota Democrat of July 6, 1853, quotes the Milwaukee Free 
Democrat of June 29, 1853, and Thompson's Bank Note Reporter. The 
latter prefaced the statement with the words "Extra Caution." 




afterwards, his efforts having proved futile, he left for New 
York "to make arrangements for the redemption of the bills." 
The prevailing sentiment stirred up by this episode is expressed 
in this sentence, "We want no wild-catting or buzzard-roosting 
here in Minnesota," and in the advice given, "Be careful in 
counting your money — touch not — handle not !" 43 

About the same time Richards, Clarke, and Company opened 
a banking house in St. Paul under the name of the Central 
American Bank. Their business consisted of dealing in 
exchange and making collections. In addition, they attempted 
to issue notes; and although, unlike the two former attempts 
at establishing banks of issue, they actually opened an office, 
their effort aroused resentment to a high pitch. The organ of 
the Democratic Party, the Minnesota Pioneer, published its 
views in opposition to wildcat money and advocated the elec- 
tion of sound money men to the next legislature. In addition, 
it was stated that "the currency paid by Government to the 
Territory, and disbursed to its citizens by the proper officers, 
is the only currency recognized by the constitution." 44 Two 
days after the publication of this editorial a large meeting of 
indignant and determined St. Paul business men organized to 
carry on the warfare against the Central American Bank and 
similar institutions. The following resolutions were unani- 
mously adopted : 

Whereas, A recent attempt has been made to circulate as money 
an issue of a so-called Central American Bank, of this city, and 

Whereas, Such an attempt is antagonistical to the best interests 
of this Territory, and particularly to the interests of the business 
men of this city. Therefore be it 

Resolved, That we will oppose, under all circumstances, now 
and hereafter, this and all similar attempts to impose upon us 
an illegitimate and irresponsible paper currency, 

43 Weekly Minnesotian, July 2, 1853. No communication of any kind 
relative to the St. Anthony bank passed between Smith and Governor 
Gorman. Minnesota Pioneer, July 14, 1853. 
Minnesota Pioneer, July 21, 1853. 




Resolved, That the course pursued by the city press, in 
denouncing these "wild-cat" issues, meets with our warm appro- 

Resolved, That the proceedings of this meeting be published 
in all the papers in this Territory. 45 

In the face of such opposition the bank could not long exist, 
and in January, 1854, it gave notice that it would redeem its 
outstanding notes until February 1 of that year. On February 
8, 1854, its advertisement appeared for the last time in a terri- 
torial paper. 46 

A more successful attempt to establish a bank of issue was 
made by Borup and Oakes, who, in the latter part of Jan- 
uary, 1854, announced that they would receive current bank 
notes on deposit, for which they would give "their certifi- 
cates payable in like funds or in coin, or exchange on the 
east at current rates." 47 Action was immediately taken by 
the legislature, and a law, approved March 4, 1854, forbade 
the issue by unauthorized persons of "bills or promissory notes, 
or checks, certificates of deposit, or other evidences of debt, for 
the purpose of loaning them, or putting them in circulation as 
money, unless thereto especially authorised by law." The 
offense was made punishable by a fine of one hundred dollars, 
and any person aiding in the circulation of such evidences of 
debt was liable to a fine of twenty-five dollars. 48 This law 
was practically a dead letter from the day of its passage, and 
Borup and Oakes continued their note issue without interfer- 

A bill to incorporate the Bank of Minnesota was introduced 
in the same session. It provided that this bank should have a 
capital of one hundred thousand dollars, which mrght be 
increased to five hundred thousand; and that its notes should 

45 Minnesota Democrat, July 27,«1853. 

46 Minnesota Pioneer, January 5, 1854; Minnesota Democrat, February 
8, 1854. 

47 Minnesota Democrat, January 19, 1854. 

48 Session Laws, 1854, p. 67. The act was repealed February 7, 1855. 
Session Laws, 1855, p. 167. 




be secured by a deposit of securities of the United States or 
individual states, or of real estate mortgages, thus making it 
a free banking institution. Governor Gorman in his message 
had declared that "no law, creating a bank within this Terri- 
tory, for circulating a paper currency, can receive my official 
sanction." The Democratic sentiment in the legislature, how- 
ever, was sufficiently strong to prevent the passage of the bill, 
and it never came to the governor's hands. 49 

The currency in circulation continued to present a grave 
problem. In 1854 the paper issues in the territory amounted 
to millions of dollars. With a single exception the notes came 
from unknown banks in Maine, Georgia, Indiana, and other 
places distant from Minnesota. 50 The sole reliance of those 
who received them was on the genuineness of the engraving 
and on the reports of counterfeit detectors. In several instances 
the fact that a local banking house received or issued a certain 
foreign bank note gave the public confidence in that note, but 
the banker might at any moment refuse to accept the notes 
that he himself had introduced into circulation. Much loss was 
occasioned in the fall of this year by the notes of "broken 
banks" and by the fluctuation in note values arising from the 
rumors of bank failures circulated by speculators in bank 
notes. 51 

The Whig newspapers had long advocated the establish- 
ment of a state-regulated banking system similar to those in 
operation in Illinois and Wisconsin. 52 In these states notes 
issued by the banks were secured by the deposit of United 
States or state bonds, a system which was considered the best 
yet devised. The Democratic press, on the other hand, had 

49 Council Journal, 1854, pp. 69, 126, appendix, p. 7 ; St. Anthony 
Express, February 11, 1854. 

50 Minnesota Democrat, November 8, 1854. The exception was the 
notes of Borup and Oakes. 

51 Minnesota Democrat, November 8, 1854. 

52 St. Anthony Express, July 30, 1853; Weekly Minnesotian, July 23, 




been unalterably opposed to any form of banks of issue. 53 The 
conditions existing in 1854, however, presented a problem to 
which there appeared to be but one solution, and the Demo- 
cratic press united with the press of the opposite party in 
advocating the establishment of banks of issue under the strict- 
est regulations possible with the hope that their note issues 
might drive from circulation the spurious issues then current 
and place the territorial circulating medium on a firm founda- 
tion. 54 At a meeting of the business men of St. Paul on 
November 29, 1854, held for the purpose of organizing a 
board of trade and discussing the currency problem, resolutions 
were adopted condemning the circulation of foreign paper 
money in the territory. When the legislature assembled, how- 
ever, Governor Gorman in his message of January 18, 1855, 
again issued a warning against the establishment of note- 
issuing banks, and no action was taken. 55 

The Boom and Panic Period, 1855-58 

The years from 1855 to 1858 form one of the most inter- 
esting chapters in the history of Minnesota ; especially from a 
business point of view. The earlier years comprise the boom 
period, when optimism and prosperity reared an enormous 
speculative structure, which was brought crashing to the 
ground by the financial disasters of 1857, plunging the people 
into depths of adversity from which they were years in recov- 

The year 1855 developed but little of particular interest in 
banking. The first event in chronological order was the issue 
by Borup and Oakes of a new shinplaster, redeemable in gold 
at a discount of one per cent. 56 These notes circulated at first 
somewhat freely throughout the territory because of the integ"- 

53 Minnesota Democrat, December 24, 1850, October 21, 1851; Minne- 
sota Pioneer, November 20, 1851. 

54 Minnesota Democrat, November 8, 1854. 

55 Weekly Minnesotian, December 2, 1854; Council Journal, 1855, p. 39. 

56 Minnesota Democrat, March 7, 14, 1855. 




rity and high standing of the issuing firm. As time went on, 
however, there gradually developed considerable opposition to 
this issue. Two factors were operative in causing this opposi- 
tion : jealousy on the part of other bankers, who refused to 
accept the new notes, on the one hand ; and, on the other hand, 
distrust on the part of the public, due to the difficulty of 
redemption in localities other than St. Paul, to the fear that 
possible temporary embarrassment might cause the notes to 
depreciate, and especially to the apprehension that less respon- 
sible firms should begin the issue of similar notes. For these 
reasons the legislature of 1856 again prohibited "the issue and 
circulation of unauthorized bills as currency" and provided that 
payments of debts with such notes should be void. Borup and 
Oakes thereupon ceased to issue notes and began the redemp- 
tion of those outstanding. 57 

Immigration during 1855 surpassed that of any preceding 
year. 58 Southeastern Minnesota gained more of this incoming 
population than any other section of the territory, the gateway 
being Winona. The rush to Fillmore, Houston, Winona, 
Olmsted, and other counties was extraordinary. Villages 
sprang up as if by magic, hamlets became thriving villages and 
towns, and farms appeared in localities which no one dreamed 
would be settled for years to come. 59 

What was true of the southeastern section in 1855 was 
applicable to the entire territory the following year. Every 

57 Weekly Pioneer and Democrat, January 31, 1856; Minnesota Demo- 
crat, March 7, 1855 ; Session Laws, 1856, p. 7. See also the report of 
the "committee on shin plasters" to the house of representatives, Febru- 
ary 26, 1858. House Journal, 1857-58, p. 398. 

58 The Minnesota Democrat of November 1, 1854, estimated that forty- 
five thousand people were brought to St. Paul by boat during the preceding 
season. According to the St. Anthony Express of November 22, 1856, the 
steamboat arrivals in the years from 1851 to 1854 numbered, respectively, 
119, 171, 200, 245. The figures for 1853 and 1854, as reported in the Weekly 
Minncsotian of November 15, 1856, are 235 and 310, respectively. 

59 Weekly Pioneer and Democrat, May 22, 1856. The census of the 
territory taken in 1855 shows that Houston, Fillmore, Mower, Winona, 
Olmsted, Dodge, Steele, Rice, Goodhue, and Wabasha counties had a 




portion, notwithstanding the spirited competition prevailing, 
appeared to be receiving a share of the inflow. The boats 
engaged on the Mississippi were unable to keep pace with the 
tremendous influx of trade and travel, and by May 10, 1856, 
huge piles of freight had accumulated and were daily increas- 
ing at Dubuque and Dunleith. In the first two months of navi- 
gation in 1856 (April and May), two hundred steamboats 
arrived at the wharf in St. Paul, a record estimated as nearly 
equal to that of the entire preceding year and exceeding that 
of any previous year. Immigration literally poured into the 
Minnesota Valley. Sometimes two boats a day left St. Paul, 
but even these, loaded to their utmost capacity with passengers 
and freight, were unable to handle the rush. On the upper 
Mississippi between St. Anthony and Sauk Rapids two steam- 
boats were scarcely equal to the demands of the trade. In the 
St. Croix Valley the unusual success which had attended the 
beginning of the lumbering industry had its effect on every 
branch of trade, and led to a rapid increase in wealth and pop- 
ulation of the villages in that region. 60 

It was confidently expected that there would be an even 
larger volume of immigration and commerce in 1857; there- 
fore steamboat men made great preparations for accommo- 
dating an enormous transportation business. The basis of 
their belief was the record of the preceding year and a calcula- 
tion of favorable results from the land grant made by Congress 
for the building of railroads. In the spring the boats were 
crowded with passengers ; settlers with prairie schooners and 
cattle were constantly passing through towns in the eastern 
part of the territory, bound for the unsettled western por- 

population of 17,665 out of a total for the territory of 53,600. Weekly 
Minnesotian, August 11, 1855. The population of Winona increased from 
practically nothing in 1852 to 800 in 1855 and 3,000 in 1856. Weekly 
Winona Express, August 28, 1855 ; Winona Republican, December 25, 
1855, December 30, 1856, February 10, 1857. 

60 Weekly Pioneer and Democrat, May 22, 1856; St. Anthony Express, 
May 10, 1856; Weekly Minnesotian, May 17, 1856. 




tions. 61 The warnings of the eastern papers regarding west- 
ern lands, however, and the unsettled monetary conditions of 
that year, culminating in the panic, undoubtedly had a dampen- 
ing effect on many eastern people who would have come west 
had conditions been as propitious as in 1856. 02 

As a natural sequence of this extraordinary increase in popu- 
lation came an increase in the volume of business. Encouraged 
by the rapid rate at which the population was growing and 
the increasing area over which trade was being established, 
the merchants considered it advisable to enlarge their enter- 
prises to the limit of their capital and credit. To do so they 
were forced to borrow at the prevailing rates of interest, which, 
as subsequent experience showed, were justified by neither 
actual nor prospective profits. 63 The most considerable and 
important class of borrowers, however, were the operators in 
real estate, who had been attracted by the cheapness of the 
land and by the strong tide of immigration, and had come west- 
ward in large numbers to reap a harvest, especially in the 
boom years of 1855 and 1856. Their transactions caused the 
price of real estate to advance rapidly ; and, in consequence, all 
classes of people became obsessed by the mania for speculation 
in land. In 1856 this speculation assumed alarming propor- 
tions, and prices reached heights out of all proportion to real 
value. 64 

01 St. Paul Advertiser, March 21, 1857; Weekly Pioneer and Democrat, 
April 2, May 28, 1857; Winona Republican, April 21, 1857. An article 
copied from the Cannon Falls Gazette by the Pioneer and Democrat of 
June 25, 1857, describes the volume of travel through Cannon Falls. 

62 St. Paul Advertiser, June 13, 1857; Weekly Minnesotian, June 27, 

63 St. Paul Advertiser, June 27, 1857, and an article in the issue of 
June 20, 1857, quoted from the New York Independent of June 11. 

64 The Weekly Pioneer and Democrat of December 18, 1856, announced 
that 140 acres at the mouth of Bassett's Creek, Minneapolis, preempted 
the year before for $1.25 an acre, had just been sold for $35,000, or $250 
an acre. The same paper, in the issue of July 16, 1857, quoted a notice 
from the Hastings Journal to the effect that 40 acres adjoining Hastings, 
which had sold in September, 1856, for $14,500, had recently been resold 
for $32,480. These were typical transactions. 




A spirit of optimism pervaded the territory. One editor in 
the summer of 1856, after mentioning that it was a common 
thing to buy lots in St. Anthony and Minneapolis one day and 
sell them the next at an advance of from fifty to seventy-five 
per cent, declared that it was impossible for any land at the 
prices then prevailing to deteriorate in value, and that a price 
level had not yet been reached in St. Anthony, Minneapolis, or 
the surrounding country. Apparently everything was at the 
high tide of prosperity ; most of the people were living beyond 
their means, in an atmosphere of feverish excitement, basing 
all their hopes on the outcome of the most fantastic projects, 
a condition of affairs certain to prove disastrous to all con- 
cerned. 65 

Coincident with the expansion in other lines of activity 
there was an expansion in the banking field. Numerous bank- 
ing houses appeared in the various towns of the territory, six 
being established in Winona alone by the end of 1856. 66 In 
the early part of 1857 there were ten such institutions in 
St. Paul. Taking as a basis for calculation the advertisements 
of banks in the various territorial papers, a very conservative 
estimate would place the minimum number in existence in the 
summer of 1857 at not less than thirty. At the commencement 
of 1857 the bankers of St. Paul perfected an organization 
known as the "board of brokers." Its announced intention 
was "to obtain the most valuable information as to the condi- 
tion of such banks as are circulating their paper in our com- 
munity, and also to receive the earliest possible news, by tele- 
graph or otherwise, of anticipated or actual failure of such 
banks." In this respect the board rendered valuable service to 
the public, but some of its activities were not quite so com- 
mendable. 67 

65 Sf. Anthony Express, July 5, 1856; Weekly Minnesotian, October 3, 

66 Winona Republican, February 10, 1857; St. Paul Advertiser, August 
22, 1857. 

67 Weekly Pioneer and Democrat, January 15, 1857. See below, pages 
139, 153, 155. 




Currency troubles had gradually convinced a majority of 
the people that some kind of a regulated banking system was a 
necessity. In January, 1857, the opinion was expressed that 
a general banking system would, in all probability, soon be 
established. In the spring of the year the "Address of the 
Territorial Central Committee to the Democratic Voters of 
Minnesota" concerning the important measures to be consid- 
ered at the coining constitutional convention advised that the 
fundamental law should contain no provisions for banking 
institutions unless they were so guarded and restricted as to 
secure the community against irresponsible and excessive note 
issues. 68 The constitutional convention was in session from 
July 13 to August 29, 1857, and after much discussion adopted 
the general provisions under which the state banking system 
later developed. These provisions will be discussed in connec- 
tion with the consideration of the banking laws of 1858. 

Money in the years preceding 1857 had been fairly steady. 
To be sure there were changes in rates under varying condi- 
tions of supply and demand, but there were no sudden or 
violent fluctuations. In 1856 the interest rate on call loans 
was two and one-half per cent a month; on loans for from six 
to twelve months, secured by real estate, three per cent a 
month ; and on loans for from three to six months, secured by 
good paper, from three and one-half to four per cent a month. 
These rates prevailed into 1857. For a short time in the 
spring, however, rates rose to five, ten, and, in one case, to 
fifteen per cent a month, the highest points reached in Minne- 
sota for money loaned for speculative purposes. With the 
beginning of immigration and the importation of money, the 
rate dropped to two and one-half and three per cent a month, 
near which level it remained until September. 69 

As the year advanced, the territorial financiers began to feel 
the effects of the uncertain conditions in the East. Stringency 

68 St. Paul Advertiser, January 24, 1857; Weekly Pioneer and Demo- 
crat, May 21, 1857. 

69 St. Anthony Express, August 23, 1856; St. Paul Advertiser, April 4, 
11, 1857. 




in the money market became the rule, and business was dull. 
New farms had been taken up and industries established on 
borrowed capital attracted by high interest rates ; but the uncer- 
tain monetary conditions in the East, arising from excessive 
speculation, had stopped the supply. The local bankers, having 
invested heavily in real estate and real estate mortgages them- 
selves and having but little money for business loans, were 
compelled to loan almost entirely on short time. In August 
the banking business was light, money was close, and matur- 
ing paper was not paid with the usual promptness. As a gen- 
eral rule banks did not discount except to their regular custom- 
ers, whom they charged the prevailing rate of three per cent. 
Eastern exchange was scarce and was worth one-half per cent 
premium, while transactions in real estate were "growing small 
by degrees and beautifully less." 70 It was the lull before the 

On August 28, 1857, a telegram reached St. Paul announc- 
ing the suspension of several eastern banking institutions, 
including the Ohio Life Insurance and Trust Company, which 
had closed its doors on the twenty-fourth. Within a week 
the effects of these failures were felt in the territory. Real 
estate transactions ceased; payments on paper were slow, and 
past due paper began to accumulate; eastern exchange was 
scarce but light, and bankers were willing to buy it at a pre- 
mium of three-fourths per cent, selling at one and one-fourth 
per cent ; gold commanded a premium of one and one-half per 
cent; confidence was shaken, and there was much anxiety as 
to the future. As the effects of the panic began to be felt 
more powerfully, the outlook steadily darkened. Gold dis- 
appeared from circulation, money of any kind became scarce, 
and bankers refused to discount; gold in the middle of Sep- 
tember sold for two and three per cent premium, with but 
little for sale; specie was hoarded by every one who could 
obtain it. 71 

™ Si. Paul Advertiser, July 4, 11, 25, August 15, 22, 1857. 
71 St. Paul Advertiser, August 29, September 5, 19, 26, 1857. 




In the early part of October the banks of St. Paul suspended 
specie payment, and the problem arose as to how the mer- 
chants were to pay their eastern creditors, for the latter 
refused western currency except at almost prohibitive dis- 
counts, and it was impossible to get eastern exchange at even 
five per cent. Stores and warehouses were full of goods, but 
there were no buyers. Many merchants notified their eastern 
creditors that there was no specie in Minnesota, but that they 
could and were willing to pay their debts with western cur- 
rency, which was on deposit in St. Paul subject to creditors' 
drafts. 72 At a meeting, held October 5, the merchants resolved 
to ask eastern creditors to pay one half of the exchange rates ; 
to ask depositors to leave their money in St. Paul banks until' 
needed, as they were safer than distant banks ; and, as it was 
impossible to collect notes receivable, to make sales for cash 
only in order to be able to meet accruing liabilities. 73 

In the meantime, on October 2, the firm of Marshall and 
Company of St. Paul closed its doors on account of the failure 
of correspondents in St. Louis. Considerable anxiety devel- 
oped lest this failure should directly affect other banking 
houses in the city, but the fear proved groundless. The fol- 
lowing day, however, Truman M. Smith was compelled to 
close his doors. The greatest shock came on October 21, 1857, 
when Borup and Oakes, suffering from severe losses through 
the failure of the Ohio Life Insurance and Trust Company and 
other eastern correspondents, was compelled to suspend. 74 

12 St. Paul Advertiser, October 3, 1857. According to the issue of 
October 24 the St. Paul merchants alone owed eastern and foreign cred- 
itors $1,500,000, and local debts amounted to $1,000,000, secured by real 
estate mortgages drawing from two to five per cent a month. These 
amounts included only transactions through the banks and not those of 
private persons. 

73 Eastern exchange was quoted at five and ten per cent, and currency 
was frequently discounted at ten per cent in the East. St. Paul Advertiser, 
October 10, November 21, 1857. 

74 A published statement in the Weekly Pioneer and Democrat of 
October 8, 1857, showed that Marshall and Company had as assets, bills 
receivable $168,666.61, cash and cash items $24,569.44, and real estate 




The prospects for the coming winter filled people with fore- 
boding". Trade was at a standstill. Immigration had ceased, 
and in its place an exodus began. House rents dropped, and 
over two hundred houses were left vacant in St. Paul. Large 
numbers of people were out of employment, but had no money 
with which to leave the territory. 75 To meet these conditions 
a meeting was held in St. Paul, October 24, at which sugges- 
tions were made that a stay law be enacted to be in force two 
years, and also that banks of issue be established with limited 
charters, their notes to be based on real estate and such other 
securities as could be obtained in the market. 76 People appar- 
ently found it impossible to grasp the fact that real estate was 
practically worthless. According to John H. Stevens, a pioneer 
of Minneapolis, corner lots in that town, which in May, 1857, 
sold for three thousand dollars, could not be sold in October 
for three hundred dollars. In the latter part of 1857 the news- 
papers contained numerous notices of sheriff sales, mortgage 
sales, and private advertisements of land sales; yet so strong 
was the confidence of the people in land values that they were 
willing to base their note issue on real estate securities. 77 

Lieutenant Governor Chase and, later, Governor Medary 
declined to consider the petition framed at the- St. Paul meet- 
ing and refused to call an extra session of the legislature to 
institute a general banking system; therefore other means of 

$250,000; as liabilities, $83,277.48 due depositors and $60,000 in bills pay- 
able in eastern exchange. Truman Smith held real estate to the value 
of $100,000, real estate mortgages for $300,000, and bills receivable for 
$80,000, with a few minor items, to offset $19,026.40 in deposits and 
$147,000 in bills payable. According to a statement in the Weekly Minne- 
sotian of October 24, 1857, since September 10 Borup and Oakes had paid 
out $185,000, and nothing had come in. 

75 Weekly Minnesotian, October 24, 1857; St. Paul Advertiser, October 
24, 1857, April 3, 1858. The census of 1857 showed a population of 153,332. 
Weekly Pioneer and Democrat, May 27, 1858. 

76 Weekly Pioneer and Democrat, October 29, 1857. The legislature 
was to meet in regular session in the winter. 

77 Stevens, Personal Recollections of Minnesota and Its People, 301, 
302 (Minneapolis, 1890); Weekly Minnesotian, November 28, 1857; St. 
Paul Advertiser, November 28, 1857. 




alleviating the financial troubles had to be devised. 78 The city 
council of St. Paul authorized the issue of city order bills. 
This example was soon followed by Ramsey County, which, 
on November 3, authorized an issue of county scrip. Both 
issues were of denominations not less than one dollar or more 
than twenty dollars. Other counties followed Ramsey in this 
attempt to supply a circulating medium,. 79 

The board of brokers, as such, refused to receive city scrip, 
but three of its members, J. Jay Knox and Company, Caldwell 
and Company, and Bostwick, Pease, and Company, advertised 
their willingness to take it on deposit. The banks, however, 
provided a currency of their own by endorsing the notes of 
defunct eastern banks, agreeing to take them on deposit and 
to make them pass current. Operating on this plan, Mackubin 
and Edgerton, W. L. Banning, J. Jay Knox and Company, 
Caldwell and Company, and Ennis and Plant of Hastings 
obtained a quantity of the inoperative Central Bank of Gray 
(Maine) notes, and placed them in circulation with the 
endorsement of the local issuing bank across the face. Bost- 
wick, Pease, and Company in the same way issued the notes 
of the Farmers' and Merchants' Bank of Memphis, said to have 
failed, August 16, 1854. The prevailing rate of interest on 
loans was three per cent a month and five per cent a month 
after maturity. 80 The fact that the bankers were willing to 
place these notes in circulation, receive them at par, and loan 
them out at the above-mentioned rate, but refused to accept 
city scrip save at a discount, is sufficient evidence to prove that 
they were willing to capitalize the misfortunes of the public for 
their own selfish ends. For all practical purposes a piece of 
plain paper with the same endorsement would have answered 
as well inasmuch as the purpose was to provide a currency for 

78 Weekly Pioneer and Democrat, October 29, 1857. 

79 Weekly Pioneer and Democrat, October 29, 1857; St. Paul Adver- 
tiser, November 7, 28, 1857. 

80 St. Paul Advertiser, November 7, 21, 1857; Weekly Pioneer and 
Democrat, November 12, 1857; Weekly Minnesotian, January 23, 1858. 




local use, and the people were not in a position to object to the 
type or method of issue. 81 The Minneapolis merchants, in the 
fall, issued scrip for ten, fifteen, twenty-five, and fifty cents in 
order to meet the demand for small change. These notes had 
a large circulation, although there was a heated discussion over 
their issue. 82 

Many merchants failed in the fall and winter, and those who 
survived were hard pressed at all times. 83 With the convening 
of the legislature discussion turned to the subject of a new 
banking law which was now imperatively demanded by the 
people as a panacea for the financial ills from which they were 

The Constitutional Convention and the Banking 
Acts of 1858 

The constitutional convention was held in the summer of 
1857. Of the provisions incorporated into the fundamental 
laws of the proposed state, few, if any, received more careful 
consideration than those relating to the subject of banking. 
There were two conventions in session at the same time, each 
claiming to be the legally constituted body. Since the consti- 
tutional provisions adopted were those promulgated by the 
Democrats, a discussion of the Republican convention will not 
be necessary. 

Many of the men who assisted in framing the banking provi- 
sions stated repeatedly that they themselves were not in favor 
of establishing a banking system; but, since the people de- 
manded one, it was their duty to provide the best one possible. 
Impelled by this spirit, the convention formulated the con- 

81 Weekly Minnesotian, October 24, 1857; St. Paul Advertiser, Novem- I 
ber 21, 1857. 

82 Hudson (ed.), A Half Century of Minneapolis, 236 (Minneapolis, 

83 St. Paul Advertiser, April 3, 1858. A St. Paul merchant summed up 
one week's business as "$5 in City Scrip, and $5 worth of credit." Weekly j 
Minnesotian, December 19, 1857. 




stitutional basis for the state banking- system. 84 The pro- 
visions finally adopted are, briefly, as follows : 85 

The legislature was denied the "power to pass any law 
sanctioning in any manner, directly, or indirectly, the suspen- 
sion of specie payments by any person, association or corpora- 
tion issuing bank notes of any description." It was empowered 
to pass by a two-thirds vote a general banking law. Certain 
restrictions were enumerated which were required to be incor- 
porated in such a law. These requirements furnish further 
illustration of the great stress laid at that time upon the 
function of note issues. The registration of all bills issued 
and the furnishing of "ample security in United States stock or 
State stocks for the redemption of the same in specie" were 
required. If any of the deposited stocks should depreciate ten 
per cent or more on the dollar, the banks depositing them were 
to be obliged to make up the depreciation by the deposit of 
additional stocks. The stockholders of all corporations or 
associations issuing bank notes were made subject to double 
liability for all debts of that corporation or association, such 
liability to continue for one year after the transfer or sale of 
the stock by its holders. The bill-holders were made preferred 
creditors of any insolvent bank. The notes and property of 
every bank were to be taxed. Finally, the names of all the 
stockholders in such a corporation, the amount of capital stock 
held by each, the time of transfer, and the person to whom 
transferred were to be recorded. 

These provisions were agreed upon only after the rejection 
of many proposed amendments, which are of interest in that 
they show the ideas prevailing- with regard to banking. An 

84 Minnesota Constitutional Convention (Democratic), Debates and 
Proceedings, 401, 406, 407, 411, 412, 413 (St. Paul, Goodrich, pr., 1857). 
In his inaugural address, delivered June 3, 1858, Governor Sibley referred 
to the state banking system in these words : "The Constitution of Minne- 
sota has provided for a judicious banking system, which will protect the 
citizens effectually, against loss from the depreciation of bank notes." 
House Journal, 1857-58, p. 606. 

85 Constitution of Minnesota, article 9, section 13. 




amendment was offered which would have rendered the note- 
issuing- power of a bank of no value whatever by declaring that 
no debts should be considered liquidated by the payment of the 
paper money of any banking corporation. Another amend- 
ment, designed to protect the public from fraud, which was 
adopted but later stricken out, provided that the stockholders 
in every corporation issuing bank notes should be held liable 
individually for all the debts of such corporation. The con- 
vention refused to make depositors preferred creditors over 
note-holders, and, after much discussion, it also refused to 
make the state liable for the redemption of all notes of the 
banks, on the ground that note-holders would be sufficiently 
protected by the deposit of United States and state bonds. 
Other amendments, which were rejected, endeavored to make 
the deposit of stocks and specie the basis of note issue, and to 
substitute real estate in place of the United States and state 
stocks. 86 

Fear lest a split in the Democratic Party, such as had taken 
place in Ohio and Indiana, would occur if the question of 
banks were submitted to the people for decision, led the con- 
vention to provide that the legislature might pass a general 
banking law by a two-thirds vote. Accordingly, on the con- 
vening of the legislature, December 2, 1857, numerous bills 
providing for a banking system were introduced and provoked 
considerable discussion. Some opposition was apparent, but 
it was directed against all paper money, which was described 
as the "bane of our country" and the direct cause of the pres- 
ent troubles. The measure which was finally passed on March 
17, 1858, was a combination of the various propositions and 
was modeled on the Wisconsin and Illinois systems. It was 
described as a little more stringent than some of the bankers 

86 For the record of the action of the convention regarding the pro- 
posed amendments, see Minnesota Constitutional Convention (Demo- 
cratic), Debates and Proceedings, 385, 397-417, 419-421. Governor 
Medary in his message of December 11, 1857, recommended that deposi- ' 
tors as well as note-holders be given legislative protection. Senate 
Journal, 1857-58, p. 37. 




desired, and possibly a little less liberal than was necessary for 
the entire security of note-holders. 87 

The provision exciting the most interest, aside from those 
concerning note issue, was undoubtedly that fixing the maxi- 
mum rate of interest on loans. The opinion of the lending 
class had long been that no usury law should be enacted inas- 
much as such a law would drive capital from Minnesota to 
other places where it could be more profitably invested. It 
was predicted that if a usury law were passed and enforced, it 
would produce universal bankruptcy within two months. The 
rate of interest on loans by bankers was, nevertheless, fixed by 
the new law at not more than twelve per cent a year. The sug- 
gestion was immediately made that men of capital would pre- 
fer private banking with unregulated rates of interest to the 
new system. What results would have followed it is impos- 
sible to determine, since the law was not put in practical 
operation. The act of Congress admitting Minnesota to the 
Union was approved May 11, 1858. The legislature, which 
had adjourned on March 25, reassembled on June 2, and, influ- 
i enced by the warning of Governor Sibley in his inaugural 
: message, on July 21 replaced the measure of March 20 with 
another act more carefully drawn. This act as amended at the 
same session became the basis for all later banking legislation 
of the state. 88 

The new act placed the supervision of banking under the 
state auditor. Elaborate provisions were made for the incor- 
poration of banks of issue and for defining the rights and 
powers of stockholders and note-holders. All persons desiring 
| to incorporate under the act were required to select a town of 
not less than two hundred inhabitants, 89 and to have an aggre- 

87 St. Paul Advertiser, January 16, March 6, 1858 ; Weekly Pioneer 
and Democrat, January 14, 21, 1858; Senate Journal, 1857-58, p. 323. For 
the text of the act of March 20, see General Laws, 1858, pp. 301-310. 

Winona Republican, December 30, 1857, April 7, 1858; St. Paul 
. Advertiser, August 22, 1857; House Journal, 1857-58, pp. 599, 600, 
606, 880; General Laws, 1858, pp. 68-81 ; Folwell, Minnesota, 160, 161. 

89 The act of March 20 placed the minimum at three hundred ; the 
proposals in the discussion of the act of July 26 ranged from one hundred 




gate capital of not less than twenty-five thousand dollars. The 
incorporators were required to certify as to the name of the 
bank, the names of the stockholders, and the dates of com- 
mencing and terminating business. The maximum rate of 
interest which such banks could receive or ask on loans or on 
notes and bills discounted was fixed at fifteen per cent a year, 
subject, however, to any general law fixing rates of interest 
that the legislature might thereafter enact. 

Upon the application of persons incorporating under the act 
the auditor was authorized to furnish blank notes engraved and 
printed from plates, dies, and materials supplied by himself, or 
from plates, dies, and materials furnished by the incorporators 
but in his possession. 90 All expenses in preparing the notes 
were to be borne by the bankers to whom the notes were j 
issued. The denominations of the notes were to range from : 
one to five hundred dollars. 91 Each note was to be counter- 
signed by the auditor and numbered and registered by him or i 
his appointed agent. 

The notes were to be secured by a deposit with the auditor | 
of public stocks of the United States or of Minnesota, or of 1 
any other state to an amount equal to that of the notes issued. 
It was further required that the stocks should have sold in 
New York at not less than par in the six months immediately 1 
preceding the date of deposit and should be equal to stock ! 
producing six per cent a year. Should such stock depreciate, ! 

to one thousand inhabitants. Limitation as to the locality was made I j 
to protect note-holders against a pernicious practice, carried on by 
bankers in other states, of locating banks of issue in some inaccessible i 
place. The banks would then redeem their notes at convenient places j 
at a discount just below the expense of going to the bank and redeeming i 
them there. 

90 The public soon realized that this system would lead to an end- 
less variety of notes, and therefore greatly facilitate counterfeiting. 
Weekly Pioneer and Democrat, July 29, 1858. Before the bill became 
a law, this provision was repealed, and a uniform set of plates was 
adopted. General Laws, 1858, p. 81. 

91 No notes were to be issued for denominations between five and 
ten, ten and twenty, twenty and twenty-five, twenty-five and fifty, and 
fifty and one hundred dollars. 




the owner was required to make up the deficit, at the call of 
the auditor, either by additional stock or by the surrender of 
notes. In addition to the original deposit stockholders were 
required either to give bonds to the auditor to an amount equal 
to one fourth of the note issue or to deposit in lieu thereof ten 
per cent additional stock. 92 

Notes were to be redeemed at the bank only, and were made 
payable on demand and without interest. If a bank failed to 
redeem its notes upon presentation, a due protest by a notary, 
together with the numbers, denominations, and amount of the 
bills presented, was to be sent to the auditor, who thereupon 
was to give the bank a written notice that such notes were to 
be redeemed. This notice was to be published for thirty days 
in a newspaper of the county in which the bank was located, in 
a paper at the state capital, and in another in New York. After 
forty days had expired, the auditor was authorized to sell the 
securities at auction at the Merchants' Exchange in New York 
and to redeem all outstanding notes pro rata. 

Bankers were authorized to return notes to the auditor in 
sums of not less than one thousand dollars and to receive in 
return a corresponding amount of securities deposited with 
him. If the entire circulation of any bank was to be retired, 
the officers were required to give notice for two years there- 
after, in the newspaper of the county and a paper at the capital, 
that notes would be redeemed. All notes were to be canceled 
by the auditor in the presence of the governor and an official 
of the bank, and a record kept of such cancellation. Bank 
notes were made receivable in payment of all debts due the 
issuing bank. Counterfeiting of notes was punishable by a 
fine of not less than one hundred dollars, or imprisonment of 
not less than three months or more than twelve months, or by 
both fine and imprisonment. 

Supervision was provided by requiring the presidents and 
cashiers of the banks to make out a report containing the 

92 This provision really amounted to an issue of notes equal to ninety 
per cent of the par value of the stocks deposited. 




names of the shareholders, the amount of stock held by each, 
the time of transfer, and to whom transferred, and to file the 
report in the office of the county register of deeds and in the 
office of the auditor on the first Monday in January and July. 
The bank officers were also required to make out a quarterly 
report, under oath, of the condition of the bank, using a pre- 
scribed form. The report was to be sent to the auditor and 
published in a newspaper in the place where the bank was 
located and also in a paper in the capital of the state. A fine 
of one hundred dollars was the penalty for late reports, and a 
punishment of not less than one year or more than ten years at 
hard labor was prescribed for any one convicted of making 
false reports. 

All banks organized under this act were given the right to 
discount bills, notes, and "other evidences of debt," to receive 
deposits, to buy and sell gold and silver bullion, foreign coin, 
and foreign and inland bills of exchange, to loan money on 
real and personal securities, and to exercise "such incidental 
powers as may be necessary to carry on such business." Such 
a bank could hold, buy, or sell real estate if the necessities of 
its transactions so required, or if such real estate came into its 
possession as security for loans or money due it, or if conveyed 
to it in satisfaction of debts, or if acquired by sale on an execu- 
tion in its favor. 

Even a casual reading of the act will disclose the emphasis 
placed upon safeguarding and regulating note issue. Twenty- 
seven of the forty-five sections are concerned with notes or the 
securities deposited for the notes. Actual experience had bred 
in the people a fear of irresponsible note issue ; under the new 
system, therefore, they set up every known safeguard for their 
protection. The act was lacking in any requirement for a 
reserve to be held against deposits and in regulations concern- 
ing limitations upon loans and discounts. No mention was 
made of the length of time charters should run, their life 
apparently being perpetual. Although the minimum capitali- 
zation was fixed at twenty-five thousand dollars, no provision 




was made for ascertaining whether or not that amount was 
actually paid in, so that for most of the banks this requirement 
was merely nominal, there being in fact but little real capital. 

The clause exciting the most comment was that fixing a 
maximum rate of interest. Disapproval was expressed by 
some on the ground that such regulation was a "restriction 
upon the free competition of capital." Even those in favor of 
placing a limit on interest rates were of the opinion that this 
section should either be repealed or broadened to include 
every one; otherwise bankers might have private brokerage 
houses, collecting high rates of interest, "connected with, 
though outside of their institutions," to which funds available 
for loans could be transferred. An effort to remedy the situa- 
tion was made. A general usury act fixing a maximum rate of 
fifteen per cent a year was passed by the legislature on August 
9, 1858; it was vetoed by the governor, however, because of 
the fact that the enrolled bill presented for signature was not 
the one passed by the two houses. 93 

On August 14, 1858, an amendment in regard to the secur- 
ity required for note issue was passed, which caused consider- 
able change in the meaning and significance of these provi- 
sions. 94 With the idea of providing a market for the state 
railroad bonds, banks were to be permitted to deposit stocks 
issued by the United States or by the state of Minnesota at 
their current value, the provision in regard to securities of 
other states remaining as in the original act. This change 
sealed the fate of the early state banks in Minnesota. 

The currency situation in 1858 presented as great a problem 
as that of the preceding fall, with conditions more acute in 
St. Paul and St. Anthony than in other places. "Shinplasters 
of Michigan, the wild cats of Georgia and Pennsylvania, the 
wildest of all red dogs from Nebraska and Indiana," and 
worthless notes from North Carolina, Kentucky, Maryland, 

93 Weekly Pioneer and Democrat, August 5, 1858; Weekly Minne- 
sotian, July 31, 1858; House Journal, 1857-58, pp. 1051, 1103. 

94 General Laws, 1858, p. 80. 




and Virginia were passing from hand to hand. Practically 
every state in the Union contributed to the supply of trash in 
circulation in Minnesota, making it, as the Chicago Tribune 
said, the "Paradise of the feline tribe." The situation was 
further complicated by the city and county note issues. With 
the object of affording immediate relief the legislature of 
1857-58 very early in the session authorized the issuance of 
state warrants bearing twelve per cent interest. This paper 
was taken freely at par by the merchants, mechanics, and labor- 
ing men of St. Paul and St. Anthony ; and substantial allevia- 
tion was, for a time, afforded all classes. Business began to 
revive, merchants sold goods readily, and laborers received 
prompt compensation. The improvement was only temporary, 
however. The bankers from the first refused to receive the 
state warrants except at a discount ; at times they even refused 
to take them at any price. According to their own statements 
they were obliged to take this course because the scrip could 
not be used to liquidate the eastern indebtedness of merchants 
and business men. A leading St. Paul paper did not hesitate, 
however, to charge the board of brokers with attempting to 
depreciate the value of the warrants in order that through their 
agents they might purchase them "on the street at a large 
reduction," knowing that in a short time the state would be in 
a position through the sale of bonds to redeem the scrip in 
coin at its face value; furthermore, it was shown, this policy 
was pursued in face of the fact that in Washington, for 
example, the scrip was selling at par and was regarded as a 
good investment. In April bankers were buying state scrip for 
seventy and eighty per cent of its face value; in July it rose 
to ninety and ninety-five; at the same time city scrip sold at 
sixty-five per cent, and county at sixty-two and a half per 
cent. 95 

95 Winona Republican, January 27, February 24, 1858 ; Weekly Min- 
nesotian, February 20, June 5, 1858; Weekly Pioneer and Democrat, 
April 8, 22, May 6, July 15, 1858; General Laws, 1858, pp. 16-18. 




Business was dull; there was little demand for money, and 
its use was confined to safe and legitimate purposes, chiefly to 
the payment of debts. As the season advanced, it became 
apparent that it was best to prepare for a continuance of hard 
times, until another spring at least. 96 The anticipated increase 
in population did not materialize, for the course of immigra- 
tion had changed and was flowing into the territories of 
Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. Population in Minnesota 
had grown too rapidly for the opportunities offered ; thousands 
had been compelled to leave the territory in the fall of 1857 ; 
and people were consequently cautious about coming to a place 
which had fallen so rapidly from a height of great apparent 
prosperity to the depths of hardship. 97 Hope as to the future 
was revived to a considerable extent by the passage of a bill 
providing for a five million dollar loan to the railway com- 
panies to be used in railroad construction in Minnesota. 98 
For years the people of the territory had been awaiting the 
coming of a railroad. Numerous companies had been char- 
tered, but not a mile of road had been built. The loan, which 
was bitterly opposed, later proved futile for the carrying-out 
of the project. 99 

Such was the financial situation in 1858 which the new 
banking law was expected to relieve. But no banking system 
in force in any state at that time could have eradicated the 
deep-seated, basic evils with which the commercial world of 
Minnesota was beset. 

The Period of Free Banking, 1858-63 

The years of free banking, or of the state system, were 
important ones for Minnesota. Struggling desperately to 
overcome the effects of the panic of 1857 and to gain that 

96 Winona Times, February 6, 1858; St. Paul Advertiser, June 5, 1858. 

97 St. Paul Advertiser, April 3, 1858. Despite adverse conditions con- 
siderable immigration had flowed into southern Minnesota. 

98 General Laws, 1858, pp. 9-13; Weekly Pioneer and Democrat, 
April 22, 1858. 

99 Weekly Minnesotian, April 3, 10, 17, 24, 1858. 




prosperity which a few years before had appeared to be her 
natural heritage, the state was compelled not only to con- 
tribute her full quota of men for the preservation of the Union, 
but also to fight for her own existence through one of the 
worst Indian uprisings that America has ever witnessed. The 
resulting conditions were far from conducive to the highest 
economic development and prosperity, and the effects may be 
seen in the history of banking during that period. In view 
of the inherent weaknesses of the existing system, it is doubt- 
ful whether results would have been different even under 
prosperous conditions unless radical changes had been made 
in the banking laws. This fact becomes evident when one 
studies the operations of the banks organized under the act of 

By August 20, 1858, of the twelve applications for bank 
charters, three for banks to be located at Austin, Faribault, and 
Northfield, all under the control of B. W. Clarke, formerly 
•of Milwaukee, had been accepted by the auditor. By Septem- 
her 12, 1858, six more applications had been approved. In 
the whole period ending October 8, 1858, eighteen applica- 
tions were filed. In November the first banks went into opera- 
tion, the Bank of the State of Minnesota at St. Paul and the 
Exchange Bank at Glencoe. The year closed without further 
accessions. 1 The new system was not inaugurated at an 
auspicious time. Trade was still in a depressed condition; 
taxes were unpaid; and mortgage sales and foreclosures were 
numerous. 2 But one bright ray shone through the gloom. 
An abundant harvest enabled Minnesota to take her place as 
a grain-exporting state. 

An event occurred in the fall of the year that was vital in 
determining the status of the Minnesota state banks, not only 

1 Daily Pioneer and Democrat, August 20, September 12, October 8, 
1858; Winona Republican, November 30, 1858; "State Auditor's Report" 
in Senate Journal, 1859-60, p. 730. 

2 Daily Pioneer and Democrat, October 7, November 25, 1858, March 10, 
1859; Winona Republican, August 11, 1858. 




in the state itself, but throughout the United States as well. 
Several railway corporations, including the Minnesota and 
Pacific Railroad Company, having complied with the condi- 
tions of the constitution entitling them to the issue of a 
certain amount of state bonds, applied to Governor Sibley for 
them, tendering in return a corresponding amount of their 
first mortgage bonds, amounting to about twenty-one million 
dollars. According to Sibley's interpretation of the constitu- 
tion the first mortgage bonds of a railroad company were an 
exclusive first lien on the road, lands, and franchises of the 
company; therefore, he refused to accept the bonds unless a 
deed of trust were executed giving the state first lien. The 
Minnesota and Pacific Railroad Company immediately applied 
to the supreme court for a writ of mandamus to compel Sibley 
to issue the bonds. In granting the writ the court (Flandrau 
dissenting) stated that the constitutional provision did not 
require that the railroads give the state a prior lien. 3 

This decision naturally caused the state railroad bonds to 
depreciate greatly in value. The amendment to the banking 
act had opened the door for the use of these bonds as security 
for the note issue of banks. Certain newspapers in Minnesota 
had from the beginning bitterly opposed the railroad loan. 4 
Their opposition continued even after the people had voted 
their approval of the loan. After the supreme court decision 
they proclaimed the railroad bonds unfit as security for cur- 
rency at par. 5 The Exchange Bank of Glencoe, the second 
state bank to be organized, deposited the bonds as security 
for its note issue, which was promptly declared unsafe. 6 In 
the winter of 1858-59 the railroad bonds, commonly known 
as Minnesota Sevens, were placed on sale in New York ; but 
the adverse decision of the supreme court, the fact that notes 

3 Minnesota and Pacific Railroad Company v. H. H. Sibley, Governor. 
2 Minnesota, 1-20. 

4 The Weekly Minnesotian, beginning March 6, 1858, stopped at noth- 
ing in its attacks on the loan bill. 

5 Weekly Minnesotian, November 20, 1858. 

6 Weekly Pioneer and Democrat, November 17, 1858. 




issued with railroad bonds as security were looked at askance 
even in Minnesota, and the thinly veiled hints of repudiation 
by the hostile newspapers of the state, combined to give the 
bonds such a character that eastern financiers refused to accept 
them. Governor Sibley's visit to New York for the purpose 
of assisting the managers of the Minnesota railway companies 
in negotiating the bonds accomplished little in the way of 
effacing from the minds of eastern financiers memories of the- 
railroad swindles of Wisconsin. 7 People in the East, more- 
over, were under the impression that the currency of Minne- 
sota was based on the much-maligned bonds and were afraid 
of it. Willard and Morris of Chicago in their Bank Note- 
Reporter, after congratulating the people of St. Paul upon 
having as their first bank one of such excellent character — the 
Bank of the State of Minnesota — stated that a little discre- 
tion in choosing securities would give Minnesota a currency- 
as good as that of Illinois and Wisconsin. They warned the 
people, however, that notes secured by the railroad bonds 
would provide only a depreciated and dangerous currency. 
The delay in determining the financial status of these bonds 
prevented several institutions organized under the banking act 
from going into immediate operation. 8 

Notwithstanding warning from the East and adverse public 
opinion, the auditor and governor, possibly with the idea of 
creating confidence in the railroad bonds, in the months that 
followed accepted them at ninety-five and permitted several" 
banks to organize and to issue notes secured by these certifi- 
cates. 9 These banks were generally established by people 

7 The Weekly Pioneer and Democrat of December 30, 1858, quotes 
from an article in the New York Tribune of December 17, written with 
a view to discredit the railroad bonds. The same paper in its issue of 
January 13, 1859, reprints from the New York Herald of December 31 
a statement of Sibley's in which an attempt is made to correct the mis- 
representations which had been circulated regarding the character of 
the securities and the circumstances under which they were issued.. 
See also Pioneer and Democrat, January 20, 1859. 

8 Weekly Pioneer and Democrat, December 9, 1858. 

9 Weekly Minnesotian, March 19, 1859. 




interested in the railroads, who had large holdings of the bonds 
now practically worthless. 10 The state officials also accepted 
state university bonds as security for note issue, an action that 
raised a storm of protest throughout the state upon the ground 
that they were not state bonds. The Nicollet County Bank, 
whose issue was secured by university bonds, was promptly 
classed as wildcat. 11 

In a short time the engraved notes of the new banks began 
to appear and soon the state was flooded with them. Within 
a few months the words La Crosse and La Crescent, Owa- 
tonna, Glencoe, and the names of other "railroad" banks 
became familiar to every one. From the outset these new 
issues were viewed with distrust. Private bankers in St. Paul, 
who were issuing endorsed Bank of Gray notes and certificates 
of deposit, tried for reasons of their own to depreciate Minne- 
sota money. In other states it scarcely circulated at all. 
Chicago brokers warned note-holders against it, even against 
that of the well-secured banks, because of their fear lest 
doubtful securities be substituted for present good ones; and 
St. Louis banks threw out all Minnesota currency with the 
single exception of the notes of the Farmers' Bank of Garden 
City, which they received on deposit. 12 

Not all the banks, however, based their note issue on the 
railroad bonds, as is shown by the history of the Bank of the 
State of Minnesota. 13 This institution was organized in St. 
Paul, October 1, 1858, the first to go into operation under 
the new law. Its circulation was based at the start on Minne- 
sota eight per cent bonds, which never fell below par on the 

10 Weekly Pioneer and Democrat, March 10, 1859. 

11 Winona Republican, March 2, 1859 ; Stillwater Messenger, Febru- 
ary 15, 1859. 

32 Weekly Pioneer and Democrat, March 24, April 8, 1859; Weekly 
Minnesotian, April 23, 1859. 

13 The facts concerning this bank may be obtained from J. Jay Knox, 
History of Banking in the United States, 754-756 (New York, 1900). 
Mr. Knox was a member of the private banking house of J. Jay Knox and 
Company, prominent in the banking business of the time, and was later 
United States comptroller of the currency. 




New York Exchange. After the university ten per cent bonds 
had been declared state bonds for note issue purposes, this 
bank purchased the entire issue of forty thousand dollars and 
replaced ten thousand dollars of its eight per cent bonds with, 
a corresponding amount of university bonds. 14 The bank had 
a capital of twenty-five thousand dollars, fully paid, and was 
owned by Sewell, Ferris, and Company of New York, who 
were also its correspondents in that city. Its officers were 
experienced bankers; its local business was profitable; but the 
expenses sustained in note redemption in New York made it 
impossible to maintain a legitimate business with a circulation 
in such a proportion to its capital as to be profitable. Gold 
coin and New York drafts were selling at a premium of from 
two to three per cent. With a circulation of but twenty-five 
thousand dollars it had to redeem about three hundred dollars 
of its notes daily in New York. This problem, faced by all 
the early banks in Minnesota, was a powerful factor in deter- 
mining their location and operations. 

Few, if any, of the banks at that time had a very great 
amount of capital aside from a small sum required for the 
redemption of any circulating notes that might be presented. 
They purchased their bonds on credit and paid for them with 
the notes which they received from the auditor, a practice 
which rarely left anything for the conduct of the business of 
the bank. 15 The corporators expected to receive their profits 
from the interest on the bonds. The banks were located, 
therefore, in remote or practically inaccessible towns and vil- 
lages. Each bank maintained an agency in New York and 
Chicago, at which its notes were redeemed at from three to 
five per cent discount. This system was not altogether dis- 
pleasing to the public, since the discount was less than the 

14 When placed on sale for the redemption of notes, these bonds fell 
to twenty-two cents on the dollar; but they were later redeemed by 
the university. Knox, History of Banking, 755. 

15 This privilege was granted under the provisions of an act of 1860 
amending the banking law of 1858. General Laws, 1860, pp. 176-178. 




expense involved in a journey to the bank in order to present 
the notes for redemption. Many of the banks also had 
agencies in St. Paul, from which they issued notes. The intent 
of the law undoubtedly was that banks should be located at 
the place where, according to the face, the notes were dated 
and issued ; but, as express provisions were lacking on this 
point, the law was easily evaded, and the agencies were 
allowed to exist. According to the law, moreover, the bills of 
the bank were redeemable in coin at the place where they were 
(or apparently were) issued; but it became the general practice 
to issue the notes from the agency and to redeem them at the 
bank. Inconvenient as this system was to the people of the 
state, it was decidedly advantageous to the banks, since a bill- 
holder, desirous of the redemption of the bill in coin, upon 
presentation at the agency could be directed to repair to the 
bank, located in a frontier village perhaps one hundred miles 
away. 16 

In the early summer of 1859 the St. Paul brokers began a 
bold warfare against the banks whose issues were based on 
railroad bonds in order to test redemption and force the notes 
to be protested. They accumulated notes that were redeem- 
able in gold, and, when a sufficient quantity had been secured, 
sent them to the issuing bank for redemption. Since exchange 
was high, with the gold thus obtained they could make a 
profit of from two to five per cent. In addition the brokers 
endeavored in various ways to create among the people a 
feeling of distrust of "organized banking institutions." 17 By 
June 23, 1859, one bank had collapsed and three others were 
tottering. 18 

16 Knox, History of Banking, 756 ; Weekly Minnesotian, April 23, 1859 ; 
Weekly Pioneer and Democrat, August 12, 1859 ; Stillwater Democrat, 
October 1, 1859. 

17 Stillwater Democrat, June 4, 1859; Weekly Pioneer and Democrat, 
June 8, 1859; Winona Republican, June 22, 1859. 

18 The Bank of Glencoe had closed its doors, and the notes of the 
Bank of Owatonna, the Bank of Rochester, and the Chisago County 
Bank were no longer current. Nine banks only remained in operation. 
Weekly Pioneer and Democrat, June 23, 1859. 




The opposition to notes secured by railroad bonds became so 
strong that on July 9, 1859, merchants and business men held 
a meeting at the courthouse in St. Paul. Resolutions were 
adopted denouncing railroad currency and protesting against 
the issue of more notes of this type. A committee was 
appointed to wait on the governor and present the protest. 
Notes issued upon other securities were expressly approved. 19 
No results from this or other meetings can be discovered. 

Another blow was struck at railroad currency when the 
Minnesota Supreme Court issued a writ of mandamus to 
compel the attorney general to apply to a justice of the court 
"for leave to bring an action, in the name of the State, against 
the 'Bank of La Crosse and La Crescent,' to annul its charter, 
for alleged violations of law." The claim was made that the 
amendment to the banking act, upon which the issuance of 
notes secured by railroad bonds was based, was unconstitu- 
tional, since it had been passed by less than the required two- 
thirds vote ; and that such note issues were, therefore, illegal. 20 
The archives of the clerk of the supreme court show that the 
writ^of mandamus was served on the attorney general, August 
4, 1859; there is, however, no record that the court granted 
that official leave to bring suit against the Bank of La Crosse 
and La Crescent. This institution continued its note issues 
secured by railroad bonds until the state system collapsed 
in 1865. 

One morning in the fall of 1859 news was received in St. 
Paul that Sewell, Ferris, and Company had become involved 
in a disastrous speculation in New York and had failed. Upon 
the receipt of the news the Bank of the State of Minnesota 
closed its doors. It was generally recognized that the Nicollet 
County Bank of St. Peter, of which Sewell, Ferris, and Com- I 

19 Weekly Pioneer and Democrat, July 14, 1859; Weekly Minnesotian, 
July 16, 1859. 

20 State of Minnesota ex rel. William L. Banning v. Charles H. Berry. 

3 Minnesota, 190. For a review of the proceedings in the supreme court, j k 
see the Weekly Minnesotian, July 30, 1859; Weekly Pioneer and Demo- 
crat, July 28, 1859. I 




pany were the owners, must also soon take similar action. 
For a few hours there was great excitement in St. Paul. Runs 
began on the agencies, all of which, with one exception, 
referred their bill-holders to their respective banks. About 
the same time several railroad banks closed their doors. Rail- 
road bonds, when thrown on the market in order to provide 
funds for the redemption of the notes, were quoted at from 
thirteen to thirty and one-half cents on the dollar, a deprecia- 
tion resulting in much loss to the note-holders. 21 

In the latter part of October, 1859, the general confidence 
which the people had in those banks whose notes were secured 
by other than railroad bonds was practically destroyed. On 
October 21 it was learned that one of the banks standing 
highest in public confidence — the Bank of St. Paul — had sub- 
stituted in August railroad bonds for Ohio Sixes as security 
for its note issue. Its action met with the severest condemna- 
tion and resulted in a run upon the bank, which lasted all day. 
The fact that even the best of the local currency might be 
rendered worthless by the substitution of poor for good securi- 
ties called forth the opinion that all home currency should be 
treated as worthless and driven from circulation. 22 

Immigration was very light during 1859; but it was thought 
that the large crops of that fall would enable the people of 
Minnesota, in spite of currency troubles, to enter upon a new 
period of prosperity with the beginning of the next year. 23 
The prices offered, however, were so low that the producers 
could scarcely pay expenses. Many people left the state tem- 
porarily. A writer in the Nezv York Journal of Commerce, 
describing the situation in Minnesota, declares : "Property 
holders are burdened with heavy taxes, and money lenders 

21 Weekly Minnesotian, October 15, 23, 1859. Twelve of the banks 
which had been organized used Minnesota Sevens (railroad bonds) as 
security for their note issues. On May 23, 1860, Minnesota Sevens 
brought from sixteen to seventeen cents on the dollar and university 
bonds, thirty cents. Weekly Pioneer and Democrat, July 28, 1859. 

22 Weekly Pioneer and Democrat, October 21, 1859. 

23 Weekly Pioneer and Democrat, July 21, 1859. 




frequently find more land mortgages as collaterals upon their 
hands, than they are able to pay taxes upon, and at the same 
time are paying Eastern capitalists from 7 to 10 per cent, 
for money loaned on the same security." 24 As a consequence 
the advertising columns of the papers of the territory were | 
filled with notices of mortgage sales. 25 On February 10, 1860, 
in an effort to relieve the tension, the legislature passed an 
interest law which fixed the maximum rate at twelve per cent i 
a year. 26 

More than a year had now elapsed since the passage of the i 
state banking act, and in that time it had proved a failure. 
Of the sixteen banks that had been organized by December 1, 
1859, but seven remained; and some of these had announced 
an intention of closing up their business. 27 The public and 
the merchants of the state had exhibited considerable distrust 
and a decided disinclination to use the currency; the private I 
bankers received it at a discount ; people of other states looked 
upon it with disfavor. The banks were unable to stand the I 

These facts led the auditor in his report of December 9, 1 
1859, and Governor Sibley in his annual message of December 
7, 1859, to the legislature, to recommend the repeal of the I 
general banking law. Furthermore, Governor Ramsey in his 1; 
inaugural address of January 2, 1860, urged the repeal of the ' 
existing law and the substitution of "that of some one of our 
neighboring States, which, after years of severest trial, has 
been found to furnish a currency safe and desirable." 28 In 
spite of the recommendations of the state officials, who were 
most intimately acquainted with the banking system, no 
important changes were made. For many years the law known 

24 Quoted in the Stillwater Democrat, October 15, 1859. 

25 The Stillwater Democrat of February 25, 1860, advertised twenty- 
seven mortgage sales. 

26 General Laws, 1860, p. 226. 

27 "State Auditor's Report" in Senate Journal, 1859-60, pp. 719, 738. 

2 8 Senate Journal, 1859-60, pp. 10-16, 123, 719. 




to be inefficient and to all purposes practically useless remained 
as the only banking legislation of the state. 20 

The spring of 1860 brought new troubles into the financial 
world, for a large number of Illinois banks refused to furnish 
additional securities to make up for the depreciation of Missouri 
bonds, the basis of their note issues. 30 Loss of confidence in its 
own banks had caused the public of Minnesota to turn to Wis- 
consin and Illinois for currency for the transaction of business ; 
consequently the depreciation of this currency caused a serious 
derangement in the local business world. Banking funds 
became scarce, and collections were hard to make. 31 To meet 
this situation, merchants and others began to issue "checks" of 
five, ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five, and fifty cents to provide 
small change. Such issues were very numerous and, withal, 
rather convenient, though they were also a great annoyance. 
Specie disappeared, and mistakes in change were frequently 
made ; for example, a thirty-dollar check was paid out in change 
instead of a thirty-cent check. Many of these small checks were 
worthless because no signatures were attached and too many 
people issued them. 32 

Upon the commencement of hostilities between the North 
and South, the Wisconsin and Illinois bank notes suffered 
greater depreciation due to the fact that they were secured in 
large part by the deposit of bonds of the southern states. The 
financial affairs of Minnesota, in common with the whole 
Northwest, were seriously disturbed. Exchange on New York 
rose to ten per cent premium. Abundant crops in 1859 and 
1860 had stocked the granaries, and it was hoped that sales 
in the East would bring in eastern currency or coin. 33 This 

29 By the act of March 5, 1860, the note issue was changed to ninety-five 
per cent of the current market value of the stocks deposited. General 
Laws, 1860, pp. 176-178. 

30 Stillwater Messenger, February 28, 1860. 

31 Winona Republican, December 19, 1860. 

32 Winona Republican, January 9, 1861. 

33 Winona Republican, May 8, 22, 1861 ; Stillwater Messenger, May 28, 
1861. There were estimated to be at least two million dollars of notes 




hope was not fulfilled, and during the years covered by the 
period of the war Minnesota had but a comparatively small 
amount of currency. 

At the beginning of the year 1862 the number of banks in I 
operation in Minnesota was six, but in June two failed and the 
currency was further curtailed by the retirement of their notes, j 
Of the remaining banks two, the Bank of La Crosse and ! 
La Crescent and the Bank of Chatfield, although organized 
under the Minnesota laws, maintained no office of discount, 
deposit, and circulation in the state; their circulation, secured 
by a deposit of Minnesota railroad bonds, was confined 
entirely to Wisconsin. The general character of the notes 
issued prior to January 1, 1863, may be better understood by j 
a review of the bank failures and the rates at which the notes t 
were redeemed during this period. These were as follows : 
Bank of Rochester, 16% cents; Chisago County Bank, 19% 
cents; Fillmore County Bank, 20 cents; Bank of Owatonna, k 
20% cents; Exchange Bank of Glencoe, 21% cents; Central j 
Bank, 30 cents; Nicollet County Bank, 35 cents; Bank of the j 
State of Minnesota, 70 cents ; and Bank of St. Paul, 98 cents. 1 
Of these banks it will be noticed that seven paid thirty-five 
cents or less on the dollar on the notes in circulation at the I 
time they closed. The rates of redemption show clearly the I 
heavy losses which the bill-holders of these banks were com- ; 
pelled to undergo. 34 

Commenting on the banking situation, the state auditor, in I 
his report of December 31, 1861, says: "The only Minnesota 
banks circulating in the State are the Winona County and I 
People's, with a circulation of only $21,863. The taxable 
valuation of the State being nearly $40,000,000, a ready cir- i 
dilation would be found for at least $1 ,000,000 currency. In 

in Minnesota based on bonds of southern states. Winona Republican, \ 
April 10, 1861. On January 1, 1861, according to the state auditor's report : 
there were $137,679 of Minnesota bank notes outstanding. Annual 
Reports, 1861, p. 5. 

34 State Auditor, Annual Reports, 1861, p. 5; 1862, p. 17. 




ordinary times it would be the policy of the State to encourage 
a circulation to that amount, giving preference to her own 
stocks. 35 From present appearances no further issue of notes 
on State securities will be profitable, consequently the State 
must wait for the General Government to mature a policy for 
a National circulating medium." 36 Governor Ramsey, in his 
annual message to the legislature, January 9, 1862, after 
expressing the opinion that in many instances the currency of 
neighboring states introduced into Minnesota had "proved 
itself even less entitled to public confidence than our own," 
declared that the bank failures of Wisconsin and Illinois had 
"proved the whole system of Western banking upon State 
stocks to be false in principle and ruinous in its operation." 
He looked with favor upon the proposed currency to be issued 
by the national government and, after enumerating some of 
its advantages, ventured the belief that it would provide "a 
final relief from the recurrence of the enormous losses which 
are now suffered by our people, with the periodical explosion 
of the banks." 37 

During this period the cost of labor and commodities 
steadily increased. In spite of the drain of the war upon the 
male population an increased acreage of land was sown, and, 
with the beginning of Scandinavian immigration, the outlook 
for the future appeared brighter than for several years previ- 
ous. State banking reflected the industrial activity of the 
state, and on the first day of January, 1863, seven banks were 
in operation having an aggregate capital of $318,000 and 
an outstanding circulation of $198,107, secured for the most 
part by United States bonds, the state Eights, and the war 
bonds. 38 

35 In 1861 the auditor was authorized to accept securities of the United 
States bearing five per cent interest. The previous rate was six per cent. 
General Laws, 1861, p. 170. 

36 State Auditor, Annual Reports, 1862, p. 18. 

37 Executive Documents, 1861, p. 13. 

38 Stillwater Messenger, July 2, 16, 1861; State Auditor, Annual 
Reports, 1863, pp. 35-39. 





The National Banking System, 1863-74 

The year 1863 is marked by the enactment of the National 
Banking Act and by the organization of the first national bank 
within the state. The state officials, who were best acquainted 
with the weaknesses of the state system, looked with favor 
upon the proposed national banking system, and their view 
was shared generally by the people. 39 The Democratic Party, 
however, was on principle bitterly opposed to such a system, 
particularly to one based on badly secured notes. Bitter 
attacks were made upon the financial scheme of the govern- 
ment, while the most direful predictions were made as to the 
results certain to obtain were such a system to be inaugu- 
rated. 40 In the ensuing two years the national banking system 
was considered by its opponents as the cause of all the finan- 
cial troubles which the United States experienced. 

On February 17, 1863, Hon. J. H. Brisbin of St. Paul intro- 
duced in the lower chamber of the legislature a set of resolu- 
tions declaring that the legislature of Minnesota was unalter- j 
ably opposed to the national banking bill or any similar bill, 
for eleven enumerated reasons. The house refused to print 
these resolutions and by a party vote laid them on the table. 41 1 

39 Winona Republican, July 2, 1862. 

40 The St. Paul Pioneer of January 17, 1863, declared that "the imme- 
diate consequence of adding $300,000,000 to our currency, must be to j 
inaugurate one of the most stupendous eras of speculation ever known 
in this or any other country. The present values will be largely increased. 
Stocks will advance, and the price of real estate will be enormously; 
enhanced. . . . An unnatural rise must be followed by a corresponding 
fall." The same paper in the issue of January 24 declared that should 
the national government monopolize all bank note issues of the country,: 
state banks, state bonds, bankers, financiers, and the business community 
would go down together, "displaying such a financial wreck as the world 
has never yet witnessed or conceived. . . . Green-backs will become 
as plenty and cheap in Wall street as wall paper! . . . Such a plan, 
applied to our present situation, would involve People, States, and Fed- 
eral Government in universal confusion, tumult, and bankruptcy; the 
climax of which would be a Reign of Terror, in which the lowest and| 
worst class of citizens would enjoy a carnival of fierce indulgence." 

41 St. Paul Pioneer, February 18, 1863 ; House Journal, 1863, p. 223. 




That this opposition was not entirely barren of results is 
shown by the fact that one of the four Minnesota members of 
Congress voted against the bill, the other three voting for it. 42 
Minnesota financiers were slow to establish banks under the 
new act, apparently preferring to wait and observe the experi- 
ence of banks operating in other states before embarking in 
the new enterprise. During the first nine months following 
the passage of the measure a number of new state banks were 
placed in operation in Minnesota, but no national banks, 
although several banks in neighboring states were organized 
under the national system. 43 The failure to organize national 
banks in Minnesota was due to several reasons. Minnesota 
was still a frontier state and was less advanced commercially 
and industrially than the other states. The regulations under 
which state banks could be organized were, moreover, less 
stringent than those of the national system. Finally, the large 
capital necessary for the organization of banks under the 
national system was lacking at that time, while a nominal 
capital was all that most banks needed to remain in operation 
under the state system. Not until December 8, 1863, when 
the First National Bank of St. Paul was organized with a 
paid-in capital of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, 
increased in September of the following year to five hundred 
thousand dollars, did the new system obtain its first foothold 
in the state. It is interesting to note that this bank was but 
the reorganized and converted Bank of Minnesota, incorpo- 
rated under the state banking laws in 1862. 

42 Senator Rice voted against the bill, and Senator Wilkinson and 
Representatives Windom and Aldrich voted for it. 37 Congress, 3 ses- 
sion, Congressional Globe, 897, 1148. The act was approved on Febru- 
ary 25, 1863 ; it was amended by the act of June 3, 1864. United States, 
Statutes at Large, 12:665-682, 13:98-118. 

43 Up to the date of the report of the comptroller of the currency, 
November 28, 1863, twenty banks had been organized in Indiana, seven 
in Illinois, six in Iowa, four in Wisconsin, four in Michigan, thirty- 
eight in Ohio, and two in Missouri. United States Secretary of the 
Treasury, Reports, 1863, p. 49. 




The state had prospered during 1862 and 1863. Although 
the summer of 1863 had been characterized by drouth, a good 
harvest had been gathered. Railroad construction had com- 
menced ; the industrial prosperity of 1 862 continued ; and from 
an economic point of view the people enjoyed the best year, in 
spite of the Indian troubles, that they had experienced since 
the summer of 1857. 44 This prosperity accounts for the 
organization of the first national bank in the state; six new 
banks were also incorporated under the state laws in the year 
ending November 30, 1863, making a total of thirteen state 
banks in operation at that date. The state auditor reports 
that "these Banks are all located in the chief commercial towns 
of the State, and are owned and controlled by reliable business 
men of acknowledged integrity." 45 

With the beginning of 1864 the state entered upon another 
year of industrial development. The inflation of the currency, 
which had been in progress during the past year, produced an 
unprecedented rise in the cost of living as measured in green- 
backs. Under a similar standard of measurement gold, which 
on June 2, 1864, was quoted at 190, on July 12 reached 282, 
the highest point during the war. 46 The greenbacks made 
exchanges easier and more numerous, giving an impetus to 
trade and inducing activity, which resulted in higher prices for 
both commodities and real estate. Several railroads were in 
process of construction, and the demand for labor was great. 47 

44 Railroad Commissioner, Annual Reports, 1872, pp. 7, 10. 

45 The aggregate capital of the six new banks was $262,500, and the 
circulation, $154,580, bringing the aggregate total of state bank capital 
to $662,500 and of circulation to $412,398. One bank, the Bank of Winona, 
issued no notes ; those of the Bank of La Crosse and La Crescent and of 
the People's Bank were still secured by state railroad bonds, but the I 
circulation of the other ten banks, amounting to $366,525, was well 
secured, the average market value of the securities during the previous 
six months being $411,382. The thirteen state banks were located at 
Minneapolis, St. Paul, Stillwater, Red Wing, Hastings, Winona, Chatfield, 
Hokah, and St. Peter. State Auditor, Annual Reports, 1864, pp. 21, 68. ; 

4 6 St. Paul Pioneer, June 5, July 12, 1864. 

47 Governor Miller's message of January 4, 1865, in Executive Docu- 
ments, 1864, p. 19. 




During the spring of the year the currency again gave cause 
for concern, but on this occasion it was not the notes of the 
banks of Minnesota or of neighboring states which were the 
source of apprehension. On April 17 the First National Bank, 
the Marine Bank, and several brokers in St. Paul gave notice 
that they would neither receive nor pay out the notes of banks 
of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Michigan "except such as 
are being redeemed at par in Philadelphia or New York." On 
May 12, 1864, agents of the Northwestern and of the La 
Crosse and St. Paul packet companies announced that on and 
after May 15 they would receive nothing but national currency 
for tickets. Two days after this announcement the bankers 
of the state held a meeting in St. Paul and adopted the follow- 
ing resolution : 

Resolved, That the Banks of the State of Minnesota, repre- 
sented in this Convention, regarding it for the interest alike 
of the public and the Banks, that all money in circulation shall 
be made equivalent in value with the lawful money of the United 
States, agree that on and after July 1, 1864, they will receive 
and pay out as bankable funds only Treasury Notes, National 
Currency, and the issues of Minnesota Banks which are redeem- 
able in lawful money of the United States within the State. 

This course was a necessary consequence of similar action 
taken in Chicago and other commercial centers to prevent the 
flooding of the West with currency discarded in other places, 
and was effective in saving the people from financial loss. 48 

During the summer months two new banks were organized, 
one a national and one a state bank. 49 The auditor's report 
for 1864 showed that the fourteen state banks then in opera- 
tion were in splendid condition. They were apparently in no 
riaste to reorganize as national banks, though several had 
announced their intention to do so. 50 The situation was 

4 « St. Paul Pioneer, April 17, May 12, 20, 1864. 

49 The First National Bank of Rochester was organized September 7, 

50 State Auditor, Annual Reports, 1865, p. 24. 




changed, however, when Congress, acting upon the recom- 
mendation of the comptroller of the currency, inserted a pro- 
vision in the revenue act of March 3, 1865, imposing a tax 
of ten per cent a year upon the circulation of state banks paid 
out by them after July 1, 1866. The passage of this measure 
forced the banks either to retire their circulation and close up- 
their business or to incorporate under the national system. On 
March 2, 1865, the Minnesota legislature, following the prece- 
dent established in other states, passed "An act to facilitate 
the reorganization of banks incorporated under the laws of 
this state into national banks." By October 1, 1866, fifteen 
national banks were in operation with an aggregate capital of 
$1,660,000; while the state banks had all surrendered their 
charters. 51 

The period following the close of the war was one of great 
financial ease. The large expenditures of the government in 
the payment of war claims, war bounties, amounts due dis- 
charged soldiers, and other debts made money very plentiful 
locally. 52 Greatly increased activity in all lines of industrial 
and commercial life inevitably resulted. Railroad building 
progressed rapidly, agriculture was given a great impetus by 
the steadily increasing population, and interstate trade devel- 
oped. 53 The effect of this industrial activity at once mani- 
fested itself in the banking business of the state, which was 
carried on efficiently and effectively, in happy contrast to the 
methods employed by the state banks a few years before. The 
bankers were of great assistance to the growing industries and' 
in return profited by the latter' s prosperity. During this period 

51 United States, Statutes at Large, 13: 484; Minnesota, General Laws, 
1865, p. 74; Report of the Comptroller of the Currency, 1866, pp. 180, 184' 
(39 Congress, 2 session, House Executive Documents, no. 3 — serial 1287) ; 
State Auditor, Annual Reports, 1867, p. 22. 

52 George E. Warner and Charles M. Foote (eds.), History of Dakota 
County, 157 (Minneapolis, 1881). 

53 Governor Austin's inaugural address of January 7, 1870, in Executive 
Documents, 1869, pp. 1-9. The United States census for 1870 gave the 
population of the state as 439,706. United States Census, 1870, vol. 1,. 
p. 40. 




the national banking system enjoyed an almost complete 
monopoly of the banking business. By 1870 practically every 
town of importance in the southeastern section of Minnesota 
had at least one national bank, and in 1871 seven new national 
banks were established in the same district. 54 

The early seventies comprised one of the most notable boom 
periods in the economic history of Minnesota. Inflation and 
speculation were rife, and both the state and the railroads 
enjoyed an unusual period of material progress and develop- 
ment. 55 As a consequence of these "good times" the number 
of banks and the amount of business transacted showed a sub- 
stantial increase. A serious effort to operate banks under the 
state banking laws was made in the years 1872 and 1873; 
these institutions did not, however, issue notes. Several bank- 
ing firms were incorporated ; and, although in some cases their 
lights flickered out in a short time, they showed the way to 
others, and soon a steadily increasing number of state banks 
were contesting in the business field with the national institu- 
tions. 56 This renewal was undoubtedly due to the increasing 
use of deposits as a circulatory medium. In 1874, when the 
first complete records are available, the banks of the two 
systems were located for the most part in southeastern Minne- 

On September 16, 1873, the failure of the banking house of 
Jay Cooke precipitated a panic which spread throughout the 
United States. In Minnesota, after the first few days, its 
effects were scarcely noticeable beyond a slight stringency in 
the money market, a cessation of railroad building, and a dull- 

54 From 1865 to 1871 only one attempt was made to establish a state 
bank. The City Bank of St. Paul was organized on April 29, 1869; it 
became a national bank in 1873. State Department of Banking, Reports, 
1912, p. 9. 

55 Warner and Foote, History of Dakota County, 158; Governor 
Austin's annual message of January 9, 1873, in Executive Documents, 
1872, vol. 1, p. 5. 

56 State Department of Banking, Reports, 1912, pp. 7-10. 




ness in real estate for several years. 57 But few mercantile 
institutions failed and not one bank closed its doors — a striking 
commentary on the economic and financial progress of the state 
since 1857, when similar circumstances threw it into convul- 

With the steady industrial development of the state since 
1874, there has come a gradual increase in the number and size 
of the banking institutions. Only the crisis of 1893 has broken 
the chain of prosperous years that have passed since 1874. 

Sydney A. Patchin 

Minneapolis, Minnesota 

57 At water, History of Minneapolis, 517. 



At first thought it might seem that students and teachers 
of history as such would be less affected by the Great War 
and by the participation of the United States therein than 
almost any other group of citizens. That thought is based on 
the conception of the historian as an antiquarian interested only 
in the remote past and giving no heed to the possible bearing 
of his material on the life of the present. The modern student 
of history, however, considers that one of his principal objects 
in investigating the past is to contribute to an accurate under- 
standing of the present, which is an outgrowth of that past. 

Shortly after the adoption by Congress of the resolution 
declaring the existence of a state of war with Germany, a 
number of the most eminent historical scholars of the United 
States met in Washington and organized the National Board 
for Historical Service. "The main function of the board" is 
declared to be "to serve the nation, in a time when the national 
problems of war and of ultimate peace cannot receive their 
best solution without the light of historical knowledge, by 
mediating between the possessors of such knowledge on the 
one hand, and on the other hand the government and the public 
who need it ; in a word, to mobilize the historical forces of the 
country for all the services to which they can be put." 1 Under 
the auspices of this board "history men" all over the country 
have been collecting and disseminating information of an his- 
torical character bearing on the problems connected with the 
war. Some of the results of this work have been or are to be 
published by the Committee on Public Information of the 

1 For fuller information about the purposes and activities of the 
National Board for Historical Service, see the American Historical 
Review, 21:831-835, 918 (July, 1917) ; and the History Teacher's Maga- 
zine, 8: 199 (June, 1917). 





federal government. This cooperation between the board, 
which is a purely unofficial organization, and the government 
has been facilitated by the appointment of Dr. Guy Stanton 
Ford, professor of history in the University of Minnesota and 
a member of the council of the Minnesota Historical Society, 
to the position of director of the division of civic and educa- 
tional cooperation of the Committee on Public Information. 
Dr. Ford was one of the group of men who were instrumental 
in organizing the board and he is now serving as one of its 

One of the devices selected by the board for encouraging the 
study of the historical background of the war and particularly 
of American participation therein has been the establishment 
of a series of contests in the writing of essays by public school 
teachers on the subject "Why the United States is at War." 
The generosity of a patriotic citizen of Minnesota, who prefers 
that his name remain unknown, has made it possible for one 
of these contests to be conducted in this state, and the super- 
intendent of the Minnesota Historical Society has been placed 
in charge of local arrangements. The prizes offered for the 
best essay aggregate three hundred dollars and are equally 
divided into two groups, one for teachers in high schools and 
one for those in public elementary schools. The contest is 
being given publicity by the distribution of circulars and 
through the press, and the prospects are that a large number of 
teachers will participate. Six prominent citizens of the state 
are to be chosen to act as judges, three for each class of con- 
testants ; and the essays are all to be submitted by January 1 . 

Another phase of the activity of the national board is the 
encouragement of the collection and preservation of materials 
for the history of American participation in the war. A com- 
mittee has been appointed to prepare a manual on this subject 
for distribution to libraries, historical societies, and others 
who may be interested in the work. It is obvious that the best 
time to gather the materials for history, particularly such as 
are of a fugitive and ephemeral nature, is when they are 


current; but it would never occur to the average individual, 
unless his attention were specially called to it, that such things 
might be worth preserving, although he would be quick to 
recognize the interest and value of similar items of the Revolu- 
tionary or Civil War periods. Frequently librarians, and 
sometimes even those in charge of historical collections, fail to 
realize that the present will soon be the past and that current 
material will be the sources of history in the future. 

Fortunately there are, here and there, men who recognize 
the opportunity and are making the most of it. In North 
Carolina the state council of defense has appointed an historical 
committee headed by R. D. W. Connor, secretary of the North 
Carolina Historical Commission, and this committee is circu- 
lating a leaflet calling attention to the various classes of mate- 
rial which should be preserved. One of the most promising 
plans is that developed by the council of defense of Eau Claire 
County, Wisconsin. Under the leadership of W. W. Bartlett, 
chairman, the committee has arranged for the compilation of 
scrapbooks containing clippings from the local papers, pro- 
grams, handbills, and pictures relating to the country's partici- 
pation in the war. Correspondence from men in service and 
reports from local organizations are also to be collected and 
preserved. All this material, it is expected, will be turned 
over to the local library. 

In Minnesota the historical society has followed the practice 
for a number of years of collecting a considerable amount of 
typical ephemera of the present day, and it was easy to include 
the war material. Interesting examples of the results of this 
work are the recruiting posters collected from the local offices 
of the British Recruiting Mission and the Navy League, and 
from the United States Marine Recruiting Station in St. Paul. 
Attempts are being made to secure representatives in all parts 
of the state who will gather war material for the society in 
their localities, and local libraries are urged to make similar col- 
lections. The field agent of the society, Mr. Holbrook, is able 
to accomplish considerable along these lines in the communi- 




ties which he visits. Among the most valuable records are 
those which accumulate in the hands of the county directors 
appointed by the Minnesota Public Safety Commission ; at the 
suggestion of the historical society the commission sent a cir- 
cular letter to each of these men directing them to preserve all 
records and correspondence, and ultimately to turn them over 
to the society. For a large part of his material the future 
historian of the role played by the state and its component 
parts in the war will have to rely upon files of newspapers. 
The Minnesota Historical Society has for many years been 
receiving and preserving the current issues of hundreds of 
newspapers and periodicals published in the state. At the time 
of the declaration of war the list included over half the entire 
number with at least one from each county. Many other 
papers have now been added, including especially those 
which reflect or mold the opinions of special groups or inter- 
ests. In addition to the accumulation of this material, mem- 
bers of the staff of the society have been examining the files I 
and making an index of all the valuable material illustrative 
of Minnesota's participation in the war. 

Some of the subjects touched upon in this note will probably 
be dealt with more fully in future issues of the Bulletin, 
particularly the ways and means of collecting and preserving | 
material. Enough has been said, however, to make it clear 
that the worker in the field of history who desires to do so can 
find ample opportunity for service in war time along the line 1 
of his profession or avocation. 

Solon J. Buck 

Minnesota Historical Society 
St. Paul 


In popular estimation the newspaper is cheap, yet few things j 
appeal more intimately to humanity. It instructs the inquiring, 
delights the gossip lover, gauges public sentiment for the poli- 
tician, vents man's vanity, and punishes the evil-doer. No 




one can afford to be without it. Nor does its usefulness end 
with the day or week of publication as is frequently supposed. 
The despised "back number" has a value that increases as the 
years pass. Not alone does the historian find in its pages mines 
of priceless information, but public officials, attorneys, students, 
business men — in fact all classes — consult it for facts of 
supreme importance for their peculiar needs. It is quite a 
matter cf course, then, that those organizations which have 
made it their task to collect and preserve historical material 
should include in such material files of newspapers. 

The Minnesota Historical Society has from the time of its 
establishment endeavored to make its collection of Minnesota 
papers as complete as possible. The collection contains at the 
present time upwards of twelve thousand bound volumes, 
including the only existing earliest files of St. Paul and 
St. Anthony papers, the first published in Minnesota. On 
August 1, 1917, the library was receiving regularly 407 Min- 
nesota papers, comprising 27 dailies, 371 weeklies, 8 semi- 
weeklies, and 1 triweekly. That the society has been able to 
build up this splendid collection has been largely due to the 
cooperation, through the donation of their journals, of the pub- 
lishers of the state, who recognize the manifest advantage to 
themselves of so doing. It is with the hope that the benefits 
enjoyed by each may be more completely realized that some of 
the details connected with the work of caring for these papers 
are herewith presented. 

Some of the editor-publishers may not be aware that the 
papers they send in to the society are preserved and bound. 
This, in truth, is done with unremitting care and orderliness. 
When a sheet is printed unevenly, as often happens, it is so 
folded that no important local news, legal advertising, or pro- 
ceedings of local governing boards may be sacrificed to the 
binder's trimmer. When a paper is received badly torn, or 
with an essential part gone, or is defective through careless 
press work or other causes, it is not bound with the other 
numbers unless a requisition on the publisher for a perfect copy 




is disregarded. Even small rents, especially on margins, are 
mended. Half-sheets and tiny supplements are pasted in, to 
prevent their being lost or misplaced. Traveled visitors, in- 
cluding members of the American Library Association, have 
been good enough to say that the Minnesota collection is kept 
in the best shape of any in the country. 

The work of binding is often hampered, however, by reason 
of missing numbers ; it is important that the files be complete, 
for sad experience born of unheeded warnings has proved that 
the copy that is lacking is sometimes the most sorely needed 
of all. To secure these numbers anywhere from one to a dozen 
requests, by postal card or letter or by both, are sent out to 
the publishers in each case. While many responses are made 
to the first request, in some instances no reply is received either 
in the shape of the desired copies or in explanation of their 
non-appearance. A note from the publisher designating the 
copies that he is unable to supply is helpful. It frequently 
happens that missing numbers which it has seemed impossible 
to acquire come straggling in after long delays ; their insertion 
in the bound volumes results in a badly misshapen book. Some 
newspaper owners apparently ignore our reiterated appeals on 
principle. In one or two instances whole months are lacking, 
and the case is so hopeless that missing copies are no 1 longer 
asked for and the files are all but worthless. In 1915 sixty 
publishers were remiss, with 116 issues; and in 1916 seventy- 
one publishers, with a total of 286 missing copies, failed to 
reply. Happily no grounds for complaint exist as to the 
dailies. So promptly and courteously have the needs of the 
society been responded to that every file for years past is 

Through their cooperation in this public service the news- 
paper publishers are performing a service advantageous to 
themselves. Many of them hold their own files for years 
before binding, and some do not attempt to bind at all. The 
papers are often pitched into haphazard storage where they 
gather dirt and furnish food for mice. When a publisher must 


have a back number, he is likely to find it only after over- 
hauling the entire confused heap. Frequently the copy sought 
can not be found ; perhaps it is not there at all ; a whole 
month's hie may be gone. It often happens, when a suit involv- 
ing a contested or unsettled estate is pending and the evidence 
of a published legal notice is imperative, that a publisher is 
called upon by an order of the court to produce a copy of his 
paper issued five, ten, or twenty years ago, and finds himself 
unable to comply with the demand. A more serious danger 
which threatens the files of the country publisher is the destruc- 
tion of his printing shop by fire. In such circumstances what 
a comfort for him to know that well-bound files of his paper 
from the first number are deposited safely and guarded 
vigilantly in the library of the historical society at the state 
capital. A few years ago a suit involving heavy property 
interests was being tried at Crookston ; in the course of the trial 
it became necessary to adjourn court in order that an attorney 
might go to St. Paul to see a legal advertisement which 
appeared in a certain paper, the only copy of which in existence 
was preserved in the historical library, the home office with 
its files having been destroyed by fire. In preparing their 
semicentennial anniversary number of May 25, 1917, the pub- 
lishers of the Minneapolis Tribune, thrice visited by fire, 
would have been at sea but for the society's newspaper division. 
From it they obtained not only the loan of the first copy, which 
they reproduced in facsimile, but valuable missing links in the 
history of the paper, which might possibly have been secured 
from other sources, but only at the expense of weeks and per- 
haps months of quasi-detective work. 

It would be advantageous both to reader and newspaper 
custodian were the number of pages and sections contained 
stated on the first page of every issue. This is, of course, 
unnecessary where the sheet is invariably of the same size 
and all in one section. Suppose a publisher puts out two 
sections regularly for years. Then the paper comes with but 
one section, sometimes labeled "section 1." The custodian 




sends for section 2 and is informed that there was none. The 
second part may reappear the following week or it may be 
suspended for a longer time and then resumed. A little care 
for details of this character on the part of publishers lessens 
appreciably the troubles of the newspaper librarian. 

Working with the society for the public good, the editors 
of the state have it in their power to enhance the mutually 
beneficial relations that have existed so long and in the main 
so pleasantly between themselves and the society. They can 
dissipate much of the ignorance, apathy, and misunderstanding 
regarding the society which arise from unacquaintance with its 
work. That these are so prevalent throughout the state is 
not to be wondered at when right in St. Paul there are 
thousands of people who are unaware that the historical 
society has such a thing as a newspaper collection, and who 
think that it still burrows in the Old Capitol, vacated twelve 
years ago! Let editors and publishers consider at all times 
the growing importance of the society as a vital force in the 
educational system of the state. Let them think of their chil- 
dren and of their readers' children, whose education is to be 
perfected at the state university, with which institution the 
society is closely affiliated. 

The Minnesota Historical Society lives and works for 
to-morrow. Its nature and purposes appeal to all intelligent 
men save those unable to emerge from the narrow channels of 
self-interest; those whom nothing but financial gain or sensu- 
ous pleasures can attract. Under territory and state, in the 
interest of this society and therefore of posterity, Minnesotans 
most eminent in statesmanship and in official, professional, 
and business life have given liberally of their time, strength, 
and means, with no reward whatsoever aside from that inde- 
scribable satisfaction which is his who has rendered unselfish 
public service of value. 

It has been said sneeringly that this organization is founded 
merely upon sentiment. Granted. But they who speak con- 
temptuously of sentiment are the unthinking. Patriotism 


itself is "nothing- but sentiment." And the mainspring of the 
patient, persevering, oft baffled efforts of the creators, officers, 
and members of the Minnesota Historical Society from 1849 
to 1917 has been of the same spirit that is about to bring 
victory to our arms on battlefields beyond the sea. In things 
having to do with the very bedrock of life, the real essentials 
which shall endure until time is not, sentiment counts for 
incalculably more than the dollar. 

John Talman 

Minnesota Historical Society 
St. Paul 


Surface Formations and Agricultural Conditions of Northeastern 
Minnesota (Minnesota Geological Survey, Bulletins, no. 13). 
By Frank Leverett and Frederick W. Sardeson. With 
a chapter on Climatic Conditions of Minnesota by 
U. G. Purssell. (Minneapolis, The University of Minne- 
sota, 1917. vi, 72 p. Maps, plates, diagrams) 

This bulletin is the second part of a report produced by the 
cooperation of the Minnesota and United States geological 
surveys, of which the first part, on the northwest quarter of the 
state, published two years ago, was reviewed in the May, 1915, 
number of the Minnesota History Bulletin (1:59-61). 
Another part, treating of the south half of Minnesota and com- 
pleting this work, is expected soon to be issued. 

Professor William H. Emmons, director of the Minnesota 
survey, contributes a short introduction. Chapter 1, on the 
physical features of the state, has three full-page maps. The 
first shows the altitude above the sea by the contour lines of one 
thousand, fifteen hundred, and two thousand feet. The second 
outlines the diverse drift sheets, the loess of southeastern 
Minnesota, and the glacial Lakes Agassiz and Duluth. The third 
shows the areas of forest and prairie; it needs, however, a cor- 
rection to outline a considerably wider tract of the predominantly 
prairie region east of the Red River, placing therein nearly all of 
Mahnomen, Polk, Red Lake, Pennington, Marshall, and Roseau 

Three glacial lakes, held by barriers of the departing ice sheet, 
are described and partly delineated by this report and its maps : 
Lake Agassiz, in the drainage area of the Red River and Lake 
Winnipeg, named by the present writer in 1879; Lake Duluth, 
in the Lake Superior basin, first named by me in 1894 as the 
Western Superior glacial lake, but soon renamed Lake Duluth 
by Taylor ; and Lake Upham, named by the late Professor N. 
H. Winchell in 1901, occupying an area of about 1,250 square 
miles of the St. Louis River basin, with outlet across the Savanna 



portage to Sandy Lake and the upper Mississippi. On the inter- 
national boundary Lake Agassiz reached east to Lac La Croix 
and the western end of Hunters Island, on a meridian somewhat 
east of the east end of Vermilion Lake. Above the city of 
Duluth one of the upper shore lines of the glacial Lake Duluth 
is marked by the massive beach of gravel and sand which is 
followed by the boulevard, 470 to 475 feet above Lake Superior. 
For a fourth and nearly contemporaneous ancient lake, of about 
five hundred square miles in area as here mapped, named Lake 
Aitkin by my report on Aitkin County in 1899, having a well- 
defined beach in and adjoining the town of this name, further 
field work seems desirable to demonstrate its relationship to the 
waning and lobate ice sheet, since it may be explainable, as the 
present report suggests, by being held in a temporary drift basin, 
and being later drained away when the Mississippi River eroded 
a deeper channel in the morainal drift below this lake. 

On the folded map of northeastern Minnesota, which accom- 
panies this report, showing in much detail the surface formations, 
large areas, mainly occupied by outcropping rocks, are mapped 
from Rainy Lake eastward, adjoining the international boundary 
and including the two great tracts, of very irregular outlines, 
which have been designated as the Superior National Forest. A 
narrower belt of predominant rock outcrops is also mapped, 
though with some interruptions, at a little distance back from the 
north shore of Lake Superior along all its extent in Minnesota, 
from Fond du Lac and Duluth to Pigeon Point. Another such 
rock belt forms the Mesabi Range, from near Hibbing and Chis- 
holm east and northeastward for fifty miles. For these tracts of 
rock at or near the surface the map gives this descriptive note : 
"The rock is exposed or scantily covered by drift, but among the 
rock knobs are depressions and plains in which forests flourish. 
Of low grade for agriculture and largely uncultivated." 

Chapter 2 is a reprint from the preceding publication on 
northwestern Minnesota, being a very valuable summary of the 
climatic conditions of the whole state, contributed by the director 
of the Minnesota section of the United States Weather Bureau. 
It has nine full-page maps and ten tables, giving the mean yearly 
and monthly records, from many years of observations, of tern- 




perature, rainfall, and snowfall, and the prevailing directions 
and average velocity of winds. 

The third and final chapter comprises a general statement of 
the surface geology of northeastern Minnesota and detailed de- 
scriptions of each of its counties, namely, Cook, Lake, St. Louis, 
Koochiching, Itasca, Aitkin, and Carlton, with parts of Cass and 
Crow Wing. Three drift sheets are discriminated and bear the 
names given by Tyrrell to three great fields of outflow of the 
continental glacier : the Keewatin drift, deposited by a vast ice 
field moving from the northwest over the greater part of this 
state ; the Labradorian drift, spread by a similar ice field flowing 
from northeastern Canada across the basin of Lake Superior, 
and the Patrician drift, borne southward by an earlier glacial 
outflow from a central region of snowfall and deep ice accumula- 
tion on the highlands north of Lake Superior and on the area of 
the new district of Patricia, named in honor of the English 
princess, on the southwest side of Hudson and James bays. 

Minnesota is fortunate in having for this work the service of 
Mr. Leverett, who, during more than thirty years, has been a 
specialist of the United States Geological Survey for field work 
and investigations in surface and glacial geology. Very important 
also is the aid by Professor Sardeson, former member of the 
faculty of the University of Minnesota, engaged through many 
years in researches on the geology and paleontology of the state, 
and more recently an expert on the drainage and reclamation of 
its marsh and swamp lands and peat bogs. 

Besides the marvelous mines of iron ore along the Vermilion, 
Mesabi, and Cuyuna ranges, within the northeast part of Minne- 
sota described by this report, its next most noteworthy economic 
feature consists in its large rocky areas adapted principally for 
scientific planting and cultivation of forests. But other large 
tracts, are well adapted for agriculture, especially for market 
gardening to supply vegetables, hardy fruits and berries, and 
also dairy products, all sure of ready demand in Duluth, St. Paul, 
and Minneapolis. 

The detailed map of this part of the state has contour lines, 
showing topographic configuration and altitude above the sea, 
though such lines were not given on the preceding map of north- 
western Minnesota. For the south half of the state we may hope 


that not only contour lines will be shown, but also the altitudes 
of many lakes and railway stations, their heights in feet above 
the sea being printed on the map for convenient reference and 
comparison. Moreover, a needed detail for this northeastern 
map remains to be provided, which also was not attempted by the 
maps of the Final Report of the Minnesota Geological Survey: 
contour lines drawn near together vertically, with intervals of 
only fifty feet, upon all of Lake and Cook counties. Thus the 
Sawteeth Mountains, near the lake shore in Cook County 
between Temperance and Cascade rivers, would be clearly repre- 
sented, as they are so well seen from all passing steamers or 
sailing vessels. The map could also show, by insertion of figures, 
that the shore of Lake Superior, which is the lowest land in 
Minnesota, is 602 feet above the sea, and that the Misquah hills, 
near Winchell Lake in the central part of Cook County, the 
highest points in the state, are about 2,230 feet above the sea. 

Warren Upham 

Holmes Anniversary Volume: Anthropological Essays Presented 
to William Henry Holmes in Honor of His Seventieth 
Birthday, December I, ipi6, by His Friends and Colaborers. 
(Washington, 1916. vii, 499 p. Portrait, plates, text 

This quarto volume of forty-four essays, illustrated by 135 
plates as well as by many figures in the text, presents a grand 
array of observations and studies in themes of great interest to 
anthropologists, chiefly relating to localities and peoples in the 
United States, Mexico, and Central America. Two of these 
papers are reports of special investigations in Minnesota : 
"Anthropology of the Chippewa" (pages 198-227), by Ales 
Hrdlicka of the United States National Museum, Washington, 
and "Ethnic Amalgamation" (pages 228-240), by Professor 
Albert E. Jenks of the University of Minnesota. 

On account of fraudulent acquisition of lands and timber by 
lumber companies and land speculators from mixed-blood Chip- 
pewa (Ojibways) of the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota, 
following the passage by Congress in 1906-07 of acts providing 
for individual allotments of tribal lands and permitting mixed- 




bloods to alienate property, scientific examination of about seven 
hundred persons claiming to be full-bloods was conducted by 
Dr. Hrdlicka, for determination of their status, with a view of 
separating those of pure Ojibway lineage from those having 
intermixture of blood of other tribes and races. Among those 
deemed to be wholly of Ojibway descent fifty-nine were selected 
for description of their physiognomy, stature, and cranial char- 
acters. The data obtained are here recorded, in part tabularly, 
and are compared with similar observations of other tribes in 
the United States and Mexico, and of white Americans. The 
author's conclusions are in part as follows : "In color, physiog- 
nomy, hair, and visible characteristics in general, the full-blood 
Chippewa of today are completely of the ordinary Indian type, 
showing no special features. In stature they range from medium 
to tall, in body development from medium to stocky, the latter 
predominating. The head is large, predominantly mesocephalic, 
and of medium height. The face is both long and broad, the 
supraorbital ridges frequently pronounced, the forehead often 
more or less sloping, especially among the men, and often low in 
appearance, particularly among the women. . . . The tribe, 
though Algonquian in language and supposedly of eastern origin, 
shows a larger and relatively broader head, as well as a broader 
face, than most of the Eastern Indians. In these respects it is 
probably nearer some of the more central and northern Algon- 
quian tribes, and as will be shown in a future study, it also 
approaches the Sioux fairly close in some respects, though in the 
latter the stature is still somewhat higher, the face larger, and 
the vault of the head lower. In conclusion, it may be mentioned 
that individual variation among the apparently full-blood Chip- 
pewa of today was found in all respects to be quite moderate, 
which indicates that during the history of the tribe there has 
been no extensive admixture with Indians of different physical 

These observations and comparative studies well supplement 
our knowledge of the Ojibway people contained in the publica- 
tions of the Minnesota Historical Society ; in memoirs by Warren 
and Winchell on their history; by Gilfillan on their habits and 
customs, their daily life, and their mental and moral develop- 


merit; and by Bishop Whipple on their progress in civilization 
and Christianization. According to the census of 1910 the number 
of Ojibways in northern Minnesota is 8,234, most of whom are 
living on the White Earth, Red Lake, Leech Lake, and several 
smaller reservations. 

The paper by Professor Jenks on "Ethnic Amalgamation" 
presents a statistical survey and studies, carried on from 1909 
to 1912, of forty thousand families in Minneapolis, and, in 1915, 
<of four hundred and eighty families in Sioux Falls, South 
Dakota, and ninety-five families in Lake Benton Township, 
Lincoln County, Minnesota. "We learned whether both husband 
and wife are so-called pure-bred members of the same ethnic 
group, as, for instance, Irish, or whether one is, for instance, 
Norwegian and the other German, or whether the amalgamation 
process has gone so far that the person does not know his ethnic 
composition, and as a result calls himself an 'American.' The 
blanks also show whether husband and wife are foreign-born, 
or are native American-born, and, if the latter, what generation 
of American birth the person is. The number of unmarried chil- 
dren in the family was also shown." The following chief con- 
clusion is found : "From these studies in a city of 300,000 
population, of 20,000 population, and of a country district, it is 
evident that ethnic amalgamation, or human hybridization, is a 

I powerful factor in America, that it does affect fecundity — being 
a process toward the gradual numerical weakening of the groups 
amalgamating. It is thus an increasing factor in America, 
affecting fecundity to the greatest extent in those families most 
completely amalgamated. This view is the opposite of that which 
holds that amalgamation is a mixing or blending together of 
diverse ethnic groups into a homogeneous group. This view does 
not accept the 'melting-pot' theory." 

A portrait of Professor Holmes forms the frontispiece of this 
volume ; and at the end is a bibliography of his published writ- 
ings, 184 items, covering the years from 1875 to 1916, compiled 

1 by Ella Leary, librarian of the bureau of American ethnology. 

Warren Upham 




History of Chippewa and Lac qui Parle Counties, Minnesota; 
Their People, Industries, and Institutions. L. R. Moyer 
and O. G. Dale, joint editors. In two volumes. (Indian- 
apolis, B. F. Bowen and Company, 1916. 605, 821 p. Illus- 

History of McLeod County, Minnesota. Franklyn Curtiss- 
Wedge, editor-in-chief, assisted by Return I. Holcombe 
and a large corps of local contributors, editors, and experi- 
enced investigators. (Chicago and Winona, H. C. Cooper 
Jr. and Company, 1917. xix, 862 p. Illustrated) 

The general character of the events and conditions treated in 
these volumes may be indicated briefly by noting a difference, 
occasioned largely by geographic influences, between the history 
of the Chippewa-Lac qui Parle country and that of McLeod 
County. Traversed by the Minnesota River, one of the natural 
highways of the state, the Chippewa-Lac qui Parle region 
appeared earlier in the history of advancing civilization, wit- 
nessing in the opening years of the nineteenth century the passage 
of the explorer Long, the operations of the traders Cameron, 
Renville, and McLeod, and the labors of the missionaries Wil- 
liamson, Pond, and Riggs. The McLeod country, though lying 
to the eastward but remote from both the Minnesota and the 
Mississippi waterways, remained unoccupied until 1855, when 
groups of the approaching body of home-making settlers began to 
take possession. The advance of permanent settlement did not 
reach the western country, however, until the later sixties.. 
McLeod County, then, has an unbroken history covering sixty 
years of community development ; while the history of Chippewa 
and Lac qui Parle counties is divided into two distinct parts : an 
earlier, and perhaps more romantic, period, followed by a some- 
what shorter period of settlement and of institutional growth. 

Fortunately for the quality of the histories of these regions,, 
the volumes were edited and, in part, written by men who were 
enabled by training or by knowledge of the facts to rise in a | 
measure above the limitations which ordinarily condition the 
production of the commercial history. The History of Chippewa 
and Lac qui Parle Counties was the joint work of the late 




Lycurgus R. Moyer of Montevideo 1 and O. G. Dale of Madison, 
men long resident and prominent in these communities. Among 
Mr. Moyer's contributions to the history of Chippewa County are 
"An Egotistical Chapter," containing biographical and historical 
information of value, and a poem. The latter, read some years 
ago at the annual meeting of the Congregational Church at 
Montevideo, recounts the history of that church at some length 
and in the half humorous, half serious vein illustrated by the 
following verses : 

Jerry Wood, at that time deacon, 

Sold to Horace Griggs a horse, 
The horse was lame or else 'twas balky — 

The horse trade took its usual course. 

When Deacon Wood had left the country, 

A church committee sat on him ; 
What they did the record saith not — 

The records here are faint and dim. 

The deacon came back well and hearty, 

Led again in churchly work; 
In loving service to her Master, 

His wife was never known to shirk. 

An amount of space greater than their value justifies has been 
devoted to these and similar features, such as the stories of the 
Lac qui Parle mission, and too little attention has been given to 
such topics as "The Railroads," in the discussion of which impor- 
tant dates are not supplied. 

The treatment of the settlement of the Chippewa-Lac qui 
Parle region in a more analytical, and therefore more adequate, 
manner than has hitherto been attempted in Minnesota county 
histories, is an encouraging feature. As an indication of the 
varied sources and character of the immigration into this portion 
of the state, the names and nativity of representative groups of 
old settlers are given in a chapter entitled "Composite Elements 
in Population." The predominance of the Norwegian element, 
together with the grouping of less numerous elements, such as 
the Swedish and the German, in certain localities, is noted ; at 
the same time a number of the controlling forces in the produc- 

1 Mr. Moyer died at Montevideo, March 13, 1917. 




tion of these results are brought out. Elsewhere in the same 
volume the influence of other factors upon distribution of popu- 
lation is seen in vivid accounts of the decline of the old village 
of Lac qui Parle from its position as "the center of the commer- 
cial, civic and social life of this region" to a "deserted village" 
of fewer than a dozen houses, when "the railroad came and 
passed it by" and the county seat was removed to Madison, one 
of the new railroad towns. More than a mere statement of cold 
fact, the description is redolent of the spirit of this — from the 
point of view of historic Lac qui Parle — "indescribably pathetic" 

That part of the History of McLeod County which deals with 
the period "from prehistoric times until the middle sixties of 
the nineteenth century" is in large measure the work of the late 
Major Return I. Holcombe, 2 whose knowledge, especially of the 
Indians in Minnesota history, and whose habitually painstaking 
efforts to attain accuracy give to this, his last work, an authen- 
ticity in keeping with his reputation. The chapter on "Political 
History," by S. G. Anderson Sr., is noteworthy as giving some 
indication of the attitude of McLeod County people toward the 
Grange and the Populist movements, the free silver propaganda, 
woman suffrage, and prohibition. The volume contains an 
unusual amount of documentary and statistical material, such as 
long extracts from the county commissioners' proceedings and 
copious figures from United States census reports. The value 
of this material, though undoubtedly great, would be increased 
were the gist of the information set forth in the form of a con- 
nected narrative or exposition. The work would have been more 
conveniently handled had the biographical portion, which fills 
379 pages of this rather ponderous book, been placed in another 

The following passage, taken from the Lac qui Parle history, 
is applicable to more than one Minnesota community: "It is 
regrettable that with the gradual passing of the older generation, 
the Lac qui Parle County Old Settlers Association is being per- 

2 At the time of his death, November 21, 1916, Major Holcombe had 
nearly finished the portion of the work assigned to him. Others have 
since edited his manuscripts and added the material necessary to complete 
his work. 




mitted to go into a decline which seems to threaten its usefulness 
•as an organization through which the traditions of another day 
might be kept alive and a roster of the 'old timers' preserved. 
Each generation, of course, has its 'old settlers' and should be 
glad to hand on the traditions and the recollections of the fathers 
to the succeeding generation that there may be kept alive some- 
thing of the spirit that animated the pioneers when, behind their 
plodding ox-teams, they made the long and toilsome journey 
across the prairie in order to make habitable a wilderness and 
create a new empire in one of the fairest regions the sun ever 
shone on." 

Franklin F. Holbrook 

Old Fort Snelling {Iowa and War, no. 1). By Marcus L- 
Hansen. Iowa City, State Historical Society of Iowa, July,, 
1917. 31 p.) 

The fact that the part of Minnesota west of the Mississippi 
River was included in Iowa Territory from 1838 to 1846 fur- 
nishes the excuse, if such be needed, for the publication of an 
I historical sketch of Minnesota's most famous fort as the opening 
i number of a series of pamphlets instituted by the State Historical 
j: Society of Iowa. It should be noted, however, that Fort Snelling 
has been a part of Minnesota ever since the territory was 
organized, although the contrary might be inferred from the 
editor's statement that "not until 1849 was it included within 
Minnesota boundaries." 

In accordance with the plan of the series the sketch is dis- 
j tinctly popular in character. It opens with an account of Pike's 
I negotiations for the purchase of the site, but makes no mention 
I of Long's expedition of 1817 which finally determined the loca- 
tion of the post at the mouth of the Minnesota River. The 
coming of the troops under Colonel Leavenworth and the con- 
struction of the fort are then recounted, followed by some 
[ references to Mendota and the fur trade and to distinguished 
1 visitors. The bulk of the pamphlet, however, is devoted to 
j dramatic incidents in connection with Indian relations and to 
I picturesque aspects of the life of the soldiers in the early days, 
j The sale of the reservation and its recovery by the United States, 




the part which the fort played in the Civil and Indian wars, and 
its later history receive only incidental mention. The last four 
pages of the pamphlet contain notes dealing largely with addi- 
tional incidents and phases of the subject, which it would seem 
might better have been incorporated in the text. 

No references to authorities are given, but the author appears 
to have relied to a considerable extent upon secondary and 
reminiscent accounts instead of consulting the documentary 
sources, with the result that a number of errors have crept in. 
This is particularly true of the account of Pike's negotiations 
with the Sioux Indians. The customary salutation of a shower 
of bullets was not occasioned by the arrival of the keel-boat but 
took place somewhat later, when the Indians came to make ar- 
rangements for the council (p. 2). The tract purchased was not 
"nine miles square," but stretched "from below the confluence of 
the Mississippi and St. Peters [the Minnesota], up the Missis- 
sippi, to include the Falls of St. Anthony, extending nine miles 
on each side of the river" (p. 3). Another tract "nine miles 
square at the mouth of the St. Croix" was included in the cession. 
The "presents valued at two hundred dollars and sixty gallons of 
liquor" were not designed as payment for the reservations but 
merely to facilitate the negotiations (p. 3). The treaty provided: 
"That, in consideration of the above grants, the United States 
shall pay [blank]/' and the blank was filled in at two thousand 
dollars when the treaty was ratified by the United States Senate. 
The actual payment was made by the distribution of goods by 
Major Forsyth in 1819. It is only by a stretch of the imagina- 
tion that the Sibley House can be called "the first capitol of 
Minnesota" (p. 10). 

In spite of these errors the sketch presents an accurate and 
entertaining picture of "Old Fort Snelling," of special interest at 
the present time when the fort is again playing a prominent part 
in the history of the Northwest and of the nation. 

S. J. B. 



Early Narratives of the Northwest, 1634-1699 ( Original Narra- 
tives of Early American History). Edited by Louise 
Phelps Kellogg, Ph. D., of the Research Department of the 
State Historical Society of Wisconsin. (New York, Charles 
Scribner's Sons, 1917. xiv, 382 p.) 

The closing volume of the series of Original Narratives pub- 
lished under the auspices of the American Historical Association 
is devoted to accounts of the discovery and exploration of the 
region of the Great Lakes and upper Mississippi during the latter 
half of the seventeenth century. The French conquest of this 
territory, whether effected by devoted priests under the direction 
of various religious orders or by intrepid adventurers encouraged 
and financed in their undertakings by officials of the French gov- 
ernment, furnishes one of the most fascinating chapters of 
American history. The narratives assembled in the present col- 
lection include the reports on the discoveries of Jean Nicolet by 
Father Vimont, and of Raymbault and Jogues by Father Lale- 
mant, as given in the Jesuit Relation of 1642 ; accounts of the 
j expeditions of Radisson and Groseilliers, Allouez, Dollier and 
1 Galinee, Joliet and Marquette, Duluth, and St. Cosme as related 
I by themselves ; the travels of Perrot as described by La Potherie, 
who had access to the explorer's journals ; and the "Memoir on 
La Salle's Discoveries" by Henri de Tonty. The Radisson 
manuscript was written in English, and the present reprint is 
from the edition brought out by the Prince Society of Boston. 
The other narratives were written in French and in every case 
English translations as well as the French versions are available 
in print. With two exceptions Dr. Kellogg has used for the pres- 
I ent volume what are evidently regarded as the most authoritative 
! English translations without indicating that further critical com- 
parison with the original French version has been made. Fal- 
coner's translation of Tonty's Memoir as reprinted in volume 1 
of the Illinois Historical Collections is reproduced "with many 
textual corrections." The version of the St. Cosme letter used 
! has never been in print. It is a translation made from the 
original manuscript by Crawford Lindsay, changed in a few minor 
j particulars as a result of a critical comparison with a photostat 
: copy of a transcript of the original belonging to the Chicago His- 




torical Society. Both the photostat copy and the Lindsay trans- 
lation are in the possession of the Wisconsin Historical Society. 

Each narrative is prefaced by an introductory note containing 
a short sketch of the explorer with a bare outline of his dis- 
coveries and explorations, and bibliographical information about 
the original manuscript and extant published versions and trans- 
lations of the extract reproduced. Many obscure points in the 
lives and activities of the subjects of these sketches have yet to 
be cleared up ; and it is a matter of regret that the editor's intro- 
ductions do not contain references to the sources on which her 
own conclusions are based, or more extended analyses of the 
views held by other scholars. The review of Nicolet's journey 
of 1634, for example, makes no note of the possibility that the 
explorer may have come up the St. Mary's River as far as the 
falls ; likewise if it can be stated with assurance that Groseilliers 
arrived in New France in 1637, when in the opinion of several 
scholars of note he came in 1641 or perhaps a year or two later, 
the source for such assurance should be indicated. Some of the 
narratives are annotated very fully ; others, especially the Radisson 
manuscript which presents many perplexing problems, are accom- 
panied by little in the way of comment or elucidation. Informa- 
tion such as that supplied in the note on the battle of Seneff 
(p. 329 n. 3), or on Louis Joliet (p. 191 n. 1), or on Louis de 
Buade, Count of Frontenac (p. 227 n. 3) is so easily accessible 
that one is inclined to question the advisability of assigning to it 
space which might well have been employed to better advantage. 

Students of Minnesota history will be somewhat at a loss to 
understand why some extracts at least of Hennepin's narrative 
could not have been included in the volume ; and it would seem 
that space ought to have been found for Perrot's proclamation 
at Fort St. Antoine on Lake Pepin in 1689, if only to mark the 
establishment of the first French posts on the upper Mississippi. 

Franc M. Potter 

The Story of Minnesota, By Grace Emery and Rhoda J. 
Emery. (St. Paul, 1916. 174 p.) 

The increasing attention that is being paid to the study of i ft 
Minnesota history in the public schools of the state has resulted I- 
in the publication of several histories adapted for use as texts. I 
Two of these, Parsons' The Story of Minnesota and Pollock's ||>. 


Our Minnesota, were reviewed in the May number of the 
Bulletin. The authors of the present volume have been engaged 
as teachers in the schools of St. Paul for a number of years and 
have been actively identified with those who are interested in the 
history of the state. 

The opening chapter of the book presents in compact form the 
most important data relating to the geography of Minnesota. 
This is followed by a chapter devoted to an account of the two 
principal Indian tribes that inhabited the region when it was 
visited first by white men, the Sioux and the Chippewa. The 
essential facts of the period of exploration and early settlement 
are treated fully in the three succeeding chapters. The history 
of Minnesota during the territorial period, including a fairly 
adequate account of the progress of settlement and of the develop- 
ment of transportation facilities, forms the subject matter of 
chapter 6. Chapters 7-9 treat of the organization of the state 
government, the part which Minnesota played in the Civil War, 
and the Sioux outbreak of 1862. The remainder of the book 
(chapters 10-19) is concerned with "State Development," and 
includes accounts of the growth of the agricultural, stock-raising, 
milling, lumbering, mining, and quarrying industries, a discussion 
of the state's educational facilities and of its penal, correctional, 
and charitable institutions, and a review of recent important 

The book is written in a simple and direct style, but is some- 
what lacking in those vivid and picturesque qualities which serve 
to arouse the interest of the younger student. The reader misses 
in its pages the spirit of romance and adventure of the early 
period, and he does not come to have an intimate acquaintance 
with the life of the pioneers or an adequate understanding of the 
diverse foreign elements which have made their influence felt 
throughout the history of the state. 

The material in the various chapters is well organized and its 
arrangement is indicated by black-letter side-headings. The 
development of the narrative is continually interrupted, however, 
by the interpolation in the body of the text of explanatory, illus- 
trative, or biographical notes, forming separate paragraphs in 
type of the same size as that of the text, and set ofT from the 
material preceding and following by dashes. Notes of this char- 
acter should either be placed at the foot of the page in smaller 




type or be grouped at the end of each chapter or at the close of 
the book. An undue amount of space has been devoted to de- 
tailed accounts of the journeys of Hennepin, Pike, and Long. 
The practice of introducing into a school text extended extracts 
from original narratives of exploration is open to criticism. 

The value of the book is appreciably impaired by numerous 
errors. A few instances will serve to illustrate the lack of care 
which has been exercised in the gathering of material. The 
Dakotas are not "descendants of the Iroquois," but are members 
of the Siouan family, a linguistic group distinct from the Iroquois 
family (p. 9). The best authorities now place Duluth's post not 
"on the left bank of the Pigeon River" in Minnesota, but on the 
Kaministiquia River in Canada, near the site of the present Fort 
William (p. 20). It is incorrect to say that Jonathan Carver 
"was sent out by England into her new, far western possessions" 
(p. 28). Carver was born in the province of Connecticut, and his 
journey of exploration into the Minnesota region was not made 
under the direction of government officials. The errors which 
occur in the account of Pike's expedition are more inexcusable in 
view of the fact that his own narrative has been used as a source. 
Pike received his orders not from President Jefferson but from 
General Wilkinson, although it is more than probable that the 
president had some knowledge of the project (p. 32). The state- 
ment on page 35 that Pike on the day following his arrival at St. 
Peter's (the Minnesota) returned to Kaposia where he met in 
council three great chiefs with whom he negotiated for a grant of 
land does not agree with Pike's own account. The council was 
held on the island at the mouth of the St. Peter's on the second 
day after his arrival. That the grant of 100,000 acres included 
"the St. Anthony Falls and the St. Croix River" (p. 36) is a 
very indefinite way of indicating its extent. The treaty, signed, 
Pike resumed his journey up the Mississippi, embarking at the 
island, not at Kaposia, as stated on page 37. The American Fur 
Company was organized under a charter granted by the legis- 
lature of New York in 1808, instead of being incorporated under 
the authority of Congress in 1809; Astor's general manager for 
many years was Ramsay Crooks, instead of William Crooks ; 
and it was in 1843 rather than 1847 that the business of the 
American Fur Company in Minnesota was taken over by Pierre 
Chouteau Jr. and Company of St. Louis (p. 40). Big Stone Lake 


is twice referred to as the source of the Minnesota River 
although the actual source is some twenty-five miles beyond the 
head of the lake (pp. 45, 47). The expedition sent out in pursuit 
of Inkpaduta's band in 1857 under the leadership of Little Crow 
did not bring back the "two women captives" ; they had been 
rescued through the efforts of friendly Indians several weeks 
before the dispatch of the expedition (p. 105). It is to be 
regretted that the authors have followed Long in translating the 
word "Minnesota" as "turbid water" (p. 5). Many scholars 
prefer the meaning "clouded water," given by the well-known 
authority on the language of the Dakotas, Stephen R. Riggs, in 
his Grammar and Dictionary of the Dakota Language. He trans- 
lates "sota" as "clear, but not perfectly so ; slightly clouded, but 
not turbid ; sky-colored." 

There are many evidences that the work of proofreading has 
been carelessly done. Most of the errors occur in the spelling of 
proper names. Among the more serious may be noted: "1560" 
for "1660" (p. 19) ; "Greyloseson" (p. 20), "Greyloson" (p. 143) 
for "Greysolon" ; "Anguelle" for "Auguelle" (p. 25) ; "De Sota" 
for "De Soto" (p. 21); "relinguished" (p. 31); "order" for 
"ordered" (p. 32) ; "Shield" for "Shields" (p. 90) ; "Sandborn" 
for "Sanborn" (p. 95) ; "Ft. Sumpter" for "Ft. Sumter" (p. 96) ; 
"Niell" for "Neill" (p. 97) ; "Le Luc" for "Le Due" (p. 119) ; 
and "E. W. Barkus" for "E. W. Backus" (p. 138). 

The authors acknowledge in the preface their indebtedness "to 
the valuable collections of the Minnesota Historical Society, 
including histories of Minnesota by Folwell, Flandreau, Niell, 
Folsom, Castle, Upham, Holcombe and Winchell." They do not, 
however, in the body of the book give specific references to the 
authorities consulted, except in a few instances where long ex- 
tracts are quoted. The index is really an analytical table of 
contents and should have been placed at the beginning rather than 
at the end of the book. Inasmuch as the page numbers have 
been omitted it possesses little value. The book contains one 
outline map of Minnesota, on which a number of the more im- 
portant cities and a few places of historical interest are indicated. 
County names and boundaries ought also to have been included. 
A moderate number of carefully selected illustrations would have 
added to the attractiveness of the work. 

F. M. P. 


The executive committee has approved the following statement 
of the policy of the society with reference to the acceptance of 
material on deposit : 

"Owners of material offered on deposit will be urged to present 
the material outright, with the understanding that it shall be 
accessible to them at all times when the department to which it 
belongs is open. Material will be accepted subject to restrictions 
as to the use to be made of it, such restrictions to be agreed upon 
in each case and formulated in writing. 

"Material of special value, which can not be secured as the 
property of the society, and which is in danger of destruction if 
not deposited with the society, or which, if accepted on deposit, 
is likely to become ultimately the property of the society, may be 
so accepted under the following conditions : 

1. The society will not assume any responsibility for 
material so deposited in case of loss or destruction by theft, 
fire, or otherwise. 

2. Material so deposited by an individual shall become 
the property of the society upon the death of that individual 
without having reclaimed it. In the case of material 
deposited by a society or corporation, whenever possible a 
definite date shall be fixed after which it shall become the 
property of the Minnesota Historical Society if not 
previously reclaimed. 

3. Owners of material on deposit may be notified at any 
time that the material must be removed within a specified 
period, and if not so removed, it shall then become the 
property of the society. 

"These conditions shall not apply to material desired by the 
society for a special purpose and a limited period, such as for 
special exhibitions, research work, or the making of transcripts." 

The prospects are that the new building for the society will 
not be completed before December. The bookstack will probably 
be ready for occupancy before the rest of the building is com- 





pleted and it is hoped that the formidable task of moving the 
library to its new quarters may be begun about November 1. 
The Mississippi Valley Historical Association having accepted 
the society's invitation to hold its annual meeting in St. Paul in 
May, it is probable that arrangements will be made for the dedi- 
cation of the building at that time. 

Very Rev. Humphrey Moynihan and Bernard Snell, both of 
St. Paul, were enrolled as active members during the quarter 
ending July 31, 1917. Deaths among the members during the 
same period were as follows : Dr. Burnside Foster of St. Paul, 
June 12; Hon. Matthew G. Norton of Winona, July 15; and 
Rev. William C. Pope of St. Paul, June 7. William Hayes of 
Winona died on March 27. 

Miss Ada Nelson of the Grinnell College Library has been 
appointed a catalogue assistant on the staff of the society. 


A rare pamphlet of thirty-two pages containing a realistic 
narrative of experiences in Andersonville prison has been pre- 
sented to the society by Mr. B. M. Aslakson of Chicago. It is 
entitled Ti Maaneders Fangenskab i Andersonville and was 
written by Burns (Bjorn) Aslakson, the father of the donor, who 
settled in Carver County in 1855 and in 1862 enlisted as a 
volunteer in Company H of the Ninth Minnesota Infantry. The 
donor states that the pamphlet was printed about thirty years 
ago by the Augsburg Publishing Company of Minneapolis. It 
contains an introductory note by Professor Sven Oftedal, who 
was at that time editor of Folkebladet, and who was a personal 
friend of the author and presumably edited the narrative. 

Dr. William Watts Folwell has deposited with the society a 
part of his files of correspondence accumulated during many 
years of service to the people of the state and expects to turn 
over additional material from time to time. The "Folwell 
Papers," as they will be designated, will be a valuable addition to 
the manuscript collection of the society. 

Hon. Charles P. Craig of Duluth, who was chairman of the 
Minnesota Efficiency and Economy Commission appointed by 



Governor Eberhart in October, 1913, has turned over the records 
of this commission to be preserved by the society as a part of the 
state archives. 

Miss A. S. Millard of St. Paul has given the society a postal 
card written by the late Bishop Edsall, November 28, 1914, 
expressing his views on peace and disarmament as follows : "I 
cordially endorse all efforts tending to foster the desire for 
ultimate peace and universal disarmament. I believe tho that the 
present war should be fought to such a finish that militarism 
should be crushed and discouraged ; and that pending agreement 
for universal disarmament our own country should maintain an 
efficient navy and army." 

Three oil paintings which formerly hung in the Zimmerman 
photographic studio, St. Paul, have been presented by Mrs. C. A. 
Zimmerman. The subjects are William K. Gaston, an attorney 
in St. Paul for forty years ; Robert Armstrong Smith, several 
times mayor of St. Paul ; and Willis A. Gorman, second governor 
of Minnesota Territory. The names of the painters of the first 
two have not been ascertained. The last is the work of Carl 
Gutherz, an artist of national reputation, and was made from a 
photograph in 1883. 

From Mrs. N. W. Reay of St. Paul the society has received 
through the courtesy of the St. Paul Public Library a collection 
of New York papers published during the Civil War. These 
files of the Herald, Times, and Evening Post, while incomplete, 
contain much material of value to the student of history. 

Through the courtesy of Dr. William W. Folwell, Mr. Edward 
I. Kimball of Minneapolis has presented a collection of inter- 
esting letters written by his father, Major W. M. Kimball, in 
1863, while he was participating in Sibley's campaign against the 

The society is indebted to Mr. A. A. Pollard of Minneapolis 
for a file of Construction Details, a magazine published in St. 
Paul during the years 1912-15 in the interests of architects and 
the building trades. Mr. Pollard also presented a small volume 
of verse by Mr. George E. Bertrand, a well-known architect of 




Minneapolis, entitled Sonnets to the Ideal (Minneapolis, 1911. 
39 p.). 

The Corning-Firestone Advertising Agency has presented 
portraits of sixteen prominent citizens of St. Paul, each accom- 
panied by brief biographical data. These are advance sheets of 
a book to be entitled "The Men of St. Paul," which will contain 
several hundred such pictures. 

The society has received from Mrs. W. R. Weide of Madison, 
South Dakota, several pictures of historical interest. A photo- 
graph of Fort Snelling, taken in 1850, and one of the Falls of St. 
Anthony, taken in 1868, are especially worthy of note. 

Mr. D. D. Smith of St. Paul has donated a prospectus of the 
American Cyclopedia containing a valuable list of autograph 
signatures of early residents of Minnesota. 

A lithograph of the city of Winona, dated 1874, has been pre- 
sented by Hon. George T. Simpson of Minneapolis. 

The society receives many new books and pamphlets, especially 
privately printed ones, as gifts from the authors or publishers. 
Among the items of this sort that have come in recently are the 
following: Rambles about Historic Brooklyn, from the pub- 
lisher, the Brooklyn Trust Company ; Souvenir of the Diamond 
Jubilee of St. Mary's Church, Iowa City, from the compiler, 
Joseph Fuhrmann ; The Diamond Jubilee of St. Joseph's Church, 
Ft. Madison, Iowa, from the compiler, Rev. A. J. Kaiser; Albert 
S. Pease, Selections from His Poems, with an Autobiography and 
a Genealogy of His Descendants, from Mrs. Nellie Pease White- 
side ; Additional Baskerville Genealogy, from the author, P. 
Hamilton Baskervill; The Raritan, Notes on a River and a 
Family, from the author, John C. Van Dyke; Genealogy of the 
Descendants of John Whitmarsh, from the author, Newton Whit- 
marsh Bates ; and The Corbett Family, from the author, Henry 
R. Corbett. Such gifts are very much appreciated as it is usually 
difficult to secure privately printed books through the regular 
book market. 


The Michigan Historical Commission has begun the publica- 
tion of a quarterly entitled the Michigan History Magazine, the 
form of which is somewhat similar to that of the Minnesota 
History Bulletin. The first issue, dated July, 1917, contains 
five articles and a section devoted to "Historical News, Notes 
and Comment." Included in the latter are extensive reports on 
the organization and activities of county and other local historical 
societies and on the historical work of local chapters of the 
Daughters of the American Revolution. From one of the news 
items it appears that the legislature has appropriated eight 
hundred thousand dollars for the erection of a state building in 
which space will be provided for the offices and files of the 
commission, including the state archives, and for a pioneer 

All students of western history will rejoice at the inauguration 
of a series of collections devoted to the publication of original 
documents for the history of Ohio and the Northwest Territory. 
While the younger states of the Northwest have been publishing 
their historical records, Ohio has lagged behind. The work of 
publication in this state has finally been begun, not by the state 
or by a state-supported society or institution, but by the Marietta 
Historical Commission, created by the trustees of Marietta Col- 
lege in February, 1916. The series is entitled Marietta College 
Historical Collections; and the first volume, which is also vol- 
ume 1 of the Ohio Company Series, contains The Records of the 
Original Proceedings of the Ohio Company (1917. cxxxvii, 
132 p.). The editor is Professor Archer Butler Hulbert, who 
contributes a long introduction entitled "The Ohio Company and 
'Scioto Right.' " The "Proceedings," which cover the period 
from the organization of the company in January, 1786, to 
December, 1789, are supplied with ample annotations. The 
volume is attractively printed and bound. 

The Sixtieth Annual Yearbook of the Chicago Historical 
Society (1916. 242 p.), containing the report for the year ending 





October 31, 1916, shows the society to be one of the most active 
and effective local historical societies in the United States. By 
means of a special campaign conducted by an expert solicitor 
on a percentage basis the membership was increased during the 
year from about two hundred to over nine hundred. As the dues 
paid by the various classes of members range from ten dollars a 
year up, this means a considerable increase in income. The 
society also has invested funds amounting to over $138,000. The 
account of the activities for the year contains many valuable 
suggestions for other institutions. Especially significant are the 
numerous special exhibitions in the museum and the annual 
course of local history lectures to school children. These lectures, 
the expense of which is borne by a single member of the society, 
were attended by 7,800 delegates from the city schools. A better 
way of interesting a large community in its history and of train- 
ing its children for citizenship could hardly be devised. 

The California Historical Survey Commission, which was 
established by the state legislature in 1915 for the purpose of 
locating and making a record of historical material in the state, 
has issued a Preliminary Report (February, 1917. 71 p.). A 
survey of the county archives is nearly completed and many 
private collections have been located and inventoried. The 
results of this work will be published in a report of several 
volumes. The present pamphlet contains, besides an account of 
the work of the commission, "An Historical Analysis of the 
Archives of the County Clerk" and two "Sample Archive Re- 
ports." With similar surveys completed in Illinois and under 
way in Michigan and Minnesota, the advocates of the preserva- 
tion of the materials for state and local history and especially 
of local archives have much to encourage them. 

The Illinois Centennial Commission has brought out as the 
introductory volume of its Publications, a work entitled Illinois 
in 1818, by Solon J. Buck (Springfield, 1917. 362 p.). The 
book contains a survey of social, economic, and political condi- 
tions and an account of events connected with the admission of 
the state to the Union. The commission expects to publish a 
comprehensive five-volume history of the state in the centennial 
year, 1918. 




The Texas State Library has published Governor's Messages, 
'Coke to Ross (Inclusive), 1874-1891 (1916. 820 p.). The 
volume inaugurates the Executive Series of the Collections of the 
Archive & History Department of the Texas State Library. It 
is to be hoped that future volumes will be edited more in accord- 
ance with the canons of modern historical scholarship. 

The paper on 'The Military-Indian Frontier 1830-1835," read 
by Ruth A. Gallaher at the last meeting of the Mississippi Valley 
Historical Association, is published in the July number of the 
Iowa Journal of History and Politics. Miss Gallaher discusses 
the location and character of the frontier forts, the organization 
of the army, and the relations of the troops with the Indians and 
with the settlers. 

The last installment of "Chronology of the American Hier- 
archy," by Right Rev. Owen B. Corrigan, in the July number of 
the Catholic Historical Review, covers the provinces of Chicago, 
St. Paul, and Des Moines, and presents in convenient form essen- 
tial data for the history of Catholicism in the Northwest. 

A life of George Armstrong Custer, by Frederick S. Dellen- ; 
l>augh, has been published by Macmillan (New York, 1917. 1 
188 p.). About half the book is devoted to Custer's Indian I 

Sieur du Lhut (Duluth, 1917. 46 p.) is the title of an his- I 
torical play in four acts by Mrs. Stella Prince Stocker of Duluth. I 
Its action centers around incidents in the career of this most I 
notable figure among the French explorers who ventured into the | 
wilderness about the head of Lake Superior during the seven- 
teenth century. The narrative follows the scanty historical j 
records that are available as closely as the exigencies of dramatic i 
production permit, but the thread of romance that runs through j 
the play is pure fiction. The traditions and customs of the Chip- J 
pewa Indians, who are so closely connected with the early history J 
of Minnesota, are embodied in the various scenes ; and Chippewa ] 
melodies, of which the author has been for a number of years an 1 
enthusiastic collector, furnish the incidental music. The play was Ij 
given its first presentation at Duluth on June 22 under the j 
auspices of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae. The vivid 




and faithful picture which it gives of the period portrayed makes 
it, however, well worth production in localities other than the 
one with which the name of its central figure is identified. 

Dr. George Bryce contributes to the June issue of the Canadian 
Magazine a biographical sketch of "Alexander Ross" based upon 
his journals and letters and upon the author's personal acquaint- 
ance with the Ross family. To the student of the fur trade Ross 
is of interest in that he accompanied Astor to the Columbia 
River region and was subsequently employed by the Northwest 
Company from 1814 to 1825. From that time until his death in 
1856 Ross was a prominent figure in the Selkirk settlement. 

The Western Magazine for May contains a sketch and portrait 
of "Hon. Hascal Brill, Who Holds the Longest Service Record 
as Jurist," and an illustrated "Story of Park Square," St. Paul,, 
which includes historical sketches of the wholesale establishments 
of Noyes Brothers and Cutler, C. Gotzian and Company, the 
i Goodyear Rubber Company (St. Paul branch), the Western 
! Supply Company, Robinson, Straus, and Company, Finch, Van 
! Slyck, and McConville, G. Sommers and Company, and Whaley 
and Anglim. An article in the June issue entitled "In the 
I Country of the St. Croix," by C. L. Llewellyn, contains historical 
■ and descriptive notes on Taylors Falls and vicinity. 

Recent numbers of the Samband (Minneapolis) contain ar- 
ticles of peculiar interest for the student of the Scandinavian 
element in Minnesota. In the July issue Mrs. Anna E. Mohn 
brings to a conclusion "De fpYste aar ved St. Olaf College,"' 
begun in April, 1916, in which the writer, who came to North- 
j field in 1875, tells of the foundation in 1874 of this institution — 
j the first Norwegian coeducational college in the United States — 

I and of its later development. O. S. Johnson of Spring Grove is 
the author of two valuable contributions : "Lidt nybyggerhistorie 
fra Spring Grove og omegn," which reaches the twenty-seventh 

I installment in the July number, is an account of the Norwegians 
who settled in Spring Grove and its vicinity; "Udvandrings- 
historie fra Ringerikesbygderne," which has been appearing since 
August, 1916, is a record of emigrants to America from 
Ringerike, Norway, many of whom settled in Minnesota. In the- 




May issue the editor of the periodical, A. A. Veblen, in an article 
entitled "Bygdelagenes Fsellesarkiv" discusses the inception, 
development, and apparent failure — for the present at least — of 
the plan to erect a building in which to house historical material 
relating to the Norwegian element. The proposal to erect the 
structure on the University of Minnesota campus is being opposed 
by those who favor its location at a Norwegian institution, pref- 
erably Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. A happy solution of 
the problem might be reached by making the Minnesota Historical 
Society, already in possession of a large Scandinavian collection, 
the depository of whatever further historical material relating to 
this element may be available. 

A reminiscent article in the May number of Familiens Magasin 
(Minneapolis) by Senator E. E. Lobeck of Alexandria, entitled 
"Minder fra Guttedagene," includes a few details concerning 
early religious services in Holmes City, Douglas County. The 
June number of the same periodical contains under the title 
"Interessante Skisser fra Pioneertiden en besvserlig Bryllups- 
reise" a description of a wedding journey in March, 1884, from 
Benson to Lincoln County which throws some light on the 
progress of settlement and transportation facilities in the south- 
western part of the state at that period. 

"St. Paul, Red River, and York Factory" is the title of an 
article by Aubrey Fullerton in the Bellman of June 23, which 
deals with the history of transportation along the route indi- 
cated. The article is illustrated with pictures of early Winnipeg, 
a York boat, a Red River cart, the first locomotive in Manitoba, 
and the steamer "Anson Northup." 

The April number of Vikvceringen (Minneapolis), the official 
organ of the Kristianialag, contains biographical sketches of a 
number of its more important members residing in Minneapolis. 

The summer number of Coming's Quarterly Razoo contains 
an historical sketch of "The White Bear Yacht Club," by Leavitt 

Dr. Upham's review of David Thompson's Narrative of His 
Explorations in North America in the November Bulletin is 
reprinted in the Red Lake Falls Gazette of May 17. The June 4 




issue of the Rochester Daily Post and Record contains a review 
of Charles C. Willson's account of the Kensington rune stone, 
which appeared in the February number of the Bulletin. 

About three hundred school children successfully presented 
an historical pageant in Fairmont, May 16. The history of Fair- 
mont and the immediate vicinity was represented by a series of 
tableaux and dances arranged in four parts : the first illustrating 
the period of Indian occupation ; the second, the coming of the 
pioneers ; the third, the arrival of a colony from England in the 
early seventies ; and the fourth, the later period of peace and 
prosperity. One of the most novel of the dances was that 
symbolizing the grasshopper scourge. 

The convening of the Minnesota Conference of the Lutheran 
Synod on May 8-14 at Center City was an event of historical 
interest, since the organization of the conference on October 8, 
1858, was effected at the same place, known at the time as Chisago 
Lake. A feature of the session was the service on May 12 
commemorating the sixty-third anniversary of the establishment 
of the Swedish Lutheran Church of Center City, the oldest 
church of this denomination in the state. Some incidents con- 
nected with the first meeting as well as the later history of the 
conference are given in the May 10 issue of the Chisago County 
Press (Lindstrom) under the title "Chisago Lake the Cradle of 
the Minnesota Conference." The article is accompanied by pic- 
tures of the old church in which the conference met in 1858, and 
of "Berg's barn and granary," the structure in which the first 
Lutheran services were held in Center City. The same issue of 
the Press also contains an account of the arrival of the first 
Swedish immigrants in this locality in 1850 and 1851, in an 
article entitled "The Chisago Lake Country Sixty-Seven Years 
Ago and the Chisago Lake of To-Day." A later issue (May 24) 
prints a letter from Daniel Anderson of Coronado, California, 
one of the immigrants of 1851, who corrects from his own 
recollections several misstatements in the article of May 10. 

The bronze monument erected in the courthouse square in 
Stillwater in memory of the soldiers and sailors of Washington 
County who served in the Civil War was unveiled on April 27, 




the fifty-sixth anniversary of the day when the first company of 
volunteers left Stillwater for the South. The monument is the 
work of C. Kohlhagen of Boston, and represents the figure of a 
soldier, gun in hand, making a charge. Attached to the base are 
bronze tablets on which the names of over nine hundred soldiers 
and sailors are inscribed. The plan is to add in the future the 
names of the men from the county who took part in the Spanish- 
American War and of those who shall serve in the present war. 

On July 4 the monument raised in memory of the soldiers of 
the Civil War by the Sons of Veterans of Paynesville was 
unveiled. The names of the veterans who are buried in the 
Paynesville, Zion, Salem, and Hawick cemeteries are enrolled on 
the shaft. 

On June 10 about fifty members of the congregation celebrated 
at Fort Snelling the eighty-second anniversary of the foundation 
of what is now the First Presbyterian Church of Minneapolis. 
The pastor, Dr. J. T. Bergen, read extracts from the old minute 
book of the original congregation. "The First Presbyterian 
church at St. Peter's, Upper Mississippi River country," located 
at Fort Snelling, was the first Protestant church founded in the 
region which became Minnesota. A list of the charter members 
of the congregation is given in the account of the exercises 
appearing in the Minneapolis Journal of June 11. 

The early history of the First Presbyterian Church of Red- 
wood Falls appears in the June 27 issue of the Redwood Gazette 
under the title "Fifty Years of Church History," by Luella 
Turrell. An account of the organization in 1867, lists of early 
members and of officiating pastors, and other interesting facts, 
taken from a manuscript note-book containing the church records, 
are given. 

The fiftieth anniversary of the organization of the West Free- 
born Norwegian Lutheran Church of Manchester was commem- 
orated by appropriate exercises, July 1. A history of the church 
from its beginning with brief biographies of the pastors is con- 
tributed to the July 11 issue of the Albert Lea Times-Enterprise 
by Rev. J. H. Lunde, the present pastor. 




The fortieth anniversary of the organization of the Swedish 
Lutheran Church of Fergus Falls was celebrated May 25-27. 
The May 26 issue of the Fergus Falls Daily Journal contains 
summaries of the addresses, historical in character, given by 
several clergymen who have served the church as pastor. 

An account of the dedication of the new church of the Bethel 
Lutheran Congregation of St. Olaf Township, Otter Tail County, 
including an historical sketch of the congregation from the first 
meeting in 1869, the names of the early members, and a list of 
the pastors, appears in the Fergus Falls Ugeblad of June 13. 

The announcement of the celebration by the German Lutheran 
St. Petri Congregation of Ellsworth of the twenty-fifth anni- 
versary of the dedication of its church building, appearing in 
the Hutchinson Leader of July 13, contains a list of the pastors 
from 1889 to the present time. 

The fiftieth anniversary of the building of the Catholic Church 
of Leavenworth, the first house of worship to be erected in 
Brown County, was celebrated on June 20. The Sleepy Eye 
Herald-Dispatch of June 15 contains a history of the church 
together with some account of the settlement of the town. 

The forty-ninth anniversary of the occupation of the White 
Earth Reservation by the Chippewa was celebrated at White 
Earth on June 14 by a large gathering of the Indians of the 

The old settlers of Beltrami County held a picnic at Clement- 
son on May 15 to commemorate the twenty-first anniversary of 
the opening of the Red Lake Indian Reservation lands to settle- 

The second annual picnic of former residents of Fergus Falls 
living in Minneapolis and St. Paul was held at Minnehaha Falls, 
June 16. An address on the early history of Otter Tail County, 
delivered on this occasion by Ole Jorgens of Minneapolis, 
the first auditor of the county, is published in the June 20 issue 
of the Fergus Falls Daily Journal. 

The Read's Landing Association of the Twin Cities held its 
tenth annual home-coming at Reads, June 30. The president's 




address, by Fred A. Bill, on the organization, growth, and 
work of the association is published in the Wabasha County 
Herald (Wabasha) of July 5. 

About one hundred and fifty pioneers and their wives cele- 
brated the fifty-ninth anniversary of the admission of Minnesota 
to the Union at the annual meeting of the Minnesota Territorial 
Pioneers' Association on May 11 at the Old Capitol, St. Paul. 
The usual entertaining program of addresses was given. The 
following officers were reelected : Frank C. Ford of Newport, 
president; Andrew C. Dunn of Winnebago, first vice president; 
R. H. Jefferson of Bingham Lake, second vice president ; George 
H. Hazzard of St. Paul, secretary ; and John A. Stees of St. Paul, 
treasurer. The Territorial Pioneers Woman's Club, of which 
Miss Harriet Godfrey of Minneapolis is president, held its 
business meeting on the same day. 

A joint meeting of the Minnesota Old Settlers' Association 
and the Minnesota Territorial Pioneers' Association was held on 
June 1, in the rooms of the latter organization in the Old Capi- 
tol, St. Paul. The occasion was notable as being the last official 
meeting of the Old Settlers. Of the four members surviving out 
of a total membership of 275, only two were present : John Daub- 
ney of Taylors Falls and Captain Edward W. Durant of Charles- 
ton, South Carolina, formerly of Stillwater. Two matters which 
came before the meeting are of general interest : the adoption of a 
resolution requesting "the State Department of Education to 
include the History of Minnesota among the required courses of 
study in the public schools of this state" ; and the appointment 
of a committee to promote patriotic observance of June 1, the 
anniversary of the organization of Minnesota Territory. The 
Minnesota Historical Society has been requested to take charge of 
the records of the Old Settlers' Association, which cover a period 
of sixty years. 

The following old settlers' associations have held annual meet- 
ings during the months from April to July: Pennington County 
Old Settlers' Society at Thief River Falls, April 10; Territorial 
Pioneers' Association of Freeborn County at Albert Lea, May 
1 1 ; Hennepin County Territorial Pioneers' Association at the 




Godfrey House, Richard Chute Square, Minneapolis, June 1 ; 
Stearns County Old Settlers' Association at Sauk Center, June 
5 ; Mapleton and Sterling Old Settlers' Association at Mapleton, 
June 12; Old Settlers', Soldiers', and Sailors' Association of Fill- 
more County at Harmony, June 14; Steele County Old Settlers' 
Association, formerly known as the Havana Old Settlers' Associ- 
ation, at Owatonna, June 14; Old Settlers of Lincoln, County at 
Lake Benton, June 15; Old Settlers of Wright County at 
Buffalo, June 16; Kandiyohi County Old Settlers' Association 
on the John Wicklund farm in Kandiyohi Township, June 19 ; Old 
Settlers of Dodge County at Dodge Center, June 19; Martin 
County Old Settlers' Association at Fairmont, June 20 ; North- 
field Old Settlers' Association at Northfield, June 20 ; Old Set- 
tlers of Clay County at Baker, June 21 ; Renville County Pioneers' 
Association at Franklin, June 22 and 23 ; Otter Tail County Old 
Settlers' Association at Battle Lake, June 24 ; Grant County Old 
Settlers' Association at Barrett, June 25 ; Territorial Old Settlers' 
Association of Blue Earth County at Mankato, July 2 ; Norman 
County Old Settlers' Association at Ada, July 4; Old Settlers 
of Roseau County at Roseau, July 22 ; and Vermilion Range Old 
Settlers' Association at Ely, July 26 and 27. 

An effort was made in the legislature of 1917 to establish an 
historic trail and highway which should touch as many points 
connected with the Sioux outbreak of 1862 as possible on a route 
extending from Traverse des Sioux on the east to Browns Valley 
on the west. A joint resolution to this effect was passed in the 
senate on April 12, but failed of consideration in the house. 
The supporters of the project have not given up, however, and 
a meeting was held at Redwood Falls on May 26, where a formal 
organization was effected. Mr. Frank Hopkins of Fairfax was 
elected president ; Mr. A. B. Kaercher of Ortonville, vice presi- 
dent; and Mr. A. R. A. Laudon of Redwood Falls, secretary- 
treasurer. These officers, together with one representative from 
each county traversed by the proposed trail, make up the board 
of directors, which body is to complete the organization of the 
association and to work out the routing of the trail. An account 
of the meeting of May 26, which appears in the Redwood Gazette 
of May 30, has been issued in circular form for distribution. An 




editorial on "Naming the Trail" in the New Ulm Review of June 
6, approving a suggestion that the proposed highway be called 
"Lynd Trail," contains a sketch of James W. Lynd, who was 
engaged in the fur trade at the Lower Agency and was the first 
white man killed at that point in the outbreak. 

The Minneapolis Tribune celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of 
its founding by printing as a supplement to the May 25 number a 
facsimile of the first issue of the paper, published on May 25, 
1867. The copy photographed was that preserved in the files of 
the newspaper department of the Minnesota Historical Society. 
The same issue of the Tribune devotes a page to an illustrated 
article on the history of the paper, while under the general head- 
ing "For Half a Century the City's Daily Diary" are grouped 
brief studies of the changes which have taken place in the indus- 
trial, social, educational, and religious life of Minneapolis. 
Among them may be noted the following: "Flour Mill History," 
"First Park Given to Minneapolis in 1867," "Chicago in 28 Hours 
Was Record in 1867," "Society Editor Goes Back into Archives," 
and "Physicians of Early Times were Pioneers." The publica- 
tion of this anniversary number led Major Edwin Clark, pioneer 
editor of Minneapolis, who with W. A. Croffut began the publica- 
tion of the first daily paper in that city, the Falls Evening News, 
on September 28, 1857, to contribute to the Tribune of June 1 a 
valuable account of the early newspapers of Minneapolis. 

An address on the "History of Kandiyohi Townsite," read by 
Victor E. Lawson at the meeting of the Old Settlers' Association 
of Kandiyohi County, June 19, is printed in full in the June 27 
issue of the Willmar Tribune, of which Mr. Lawson is the editor. 
The first part of the address is devoted to the history of the vari- 
ous attempts made to secure the removal of the state capital from 
St. Paul to the capital lands in Kandiyohi Township selected in 
1858 and 1860 in accordance with a provision of the enabling act. 
The connection between the capital site question and the explora- 
tions and surveys conducted in the Kandiyohi Lakes region in 
1856 by the "Whitefield Exploration Association," is brought 
out. Extracts from the manuscript narrative of Mr. Edwin 
Whitefield, the artist and publicity agent of the association, 
describing the district explored, add interest and value to the 




address. Mr. Lawson closes with a discussion of the early 
efforts made by the Kandiyohi Townsite Company to attract 
permanent settlers. 

The completion by the government of the engineering projects 
by which Minneapolis becomes again the head of navigation on 
the Mississipppi was marked by the passage of the lighthouse 
tender "Dandelion" from St. Paul up through the government 
locks to Minneapolis on July 3. A facsimile of that part of the 
log on which the names of those aboard were written is repro- 
duced in the Minneapolis Journal of July 8. In the list are 
several men well known in connection with the steamboat traffic 
of early days. The same issue of the Journal contains an illus- 
trated article dealing with certain phases of the history of 
transportation on the Mississippi. The reminiscences of Captain 
William H. Leavitt of Minneapolis, a steamboat captain on the 
river in the eighties, are related in the Journal of May 6. 

Several articles of interest to the student of transportation on 
the upper Mississippi have appeared recently in the Saturday 
Evening Post of Burlington, Iowa, in the section devoted to 
"The Old Boats." The May 26 issue contains a paper on "River 
Navigation," written in November, 1905, by L. N. Scott of St. 
Paul, for publication by the St. Paul Commercial Club. Mr. 
Scott came to St. Paul in 1876 and entered the office of Captain 
John H. Reaney, general agent of the St. Louis and St. Paul 
Packet Company; from 1881 to 1885 he was himself agent of 
the company. During this period the steamboat business was at 
its height. Mr. Scott's observations, therefore, form a valuable 
chapter in the history of this industry. In the June 30 issue of 
the Post Fred A. Bill of St. Paul in an account of a trip recently 
taken by river to St. Louis, describes "important old land marks 
of early navigation." A list of the first boats through Lake 
Pepin and at St. Paul from 1844 to 1880 is contributed to the 
issue of July 21 by Captain J. W. Darrah of Stillwater. 

The story of the "White Squaw of Fox Lake Isle," which 
appears in the June 2 issue of the Martin County Independent, 
may well take a place among the other better known romantic 
tales and legends which have enriched the literature of the 




period of Indian occupation. The story is taken from a manu- 
script found some forty years ago in the trunk of an elm tree in 
the vicinity of Elm Creek. The manuscript bears the date 1853 
or 1855 and was written by a young man who was apparently 
a member of a group of civil engineers engaged on a government 
survey in the Blue Earth River country. The writer tells how 
he was led to go in search of the "white squaw," describes his 
journey to "Fox Lake Isle," and sets down as he heard it the 
white woman's own account of her life. 

To substantiate the claim of the Toqua Lakes State Park Com- 
mission that the last encounter between the Sioux and the Chip- 
pewa in Minnesota took place near these lakes in 1869, the 
Graceville Enterprise of June 15 prints extracts from two let- 
ters by Samuel J. Brown of Browns Valley, giving his recol- 
lections of the affair. Replying in the New Ulm Review 
of June 27, Richard Pfefferle, whose challenge of the claim 
of the commission precipitated the dispute, takes the position 
that the Toqua Lakes affair was too insignificant to be called a 
battle. The controversy seems to have simmered down to a dis- 
agreement as to what constitutes a battle. 

Interesting items of early railroad history are contained in an 
article entitled "Pennington as Brakeman Recalled at Reunion 
of Railroad Veterans' Club" in the Minneapolis Journal of July 8. 
The article was inspired by a meeting of the Minnesota Cen- 
tral, Iowa and Minnesota, and McGregor Western Railroad 
Association held recently at Austin. It is accompanied by pic- 
tures of the first through train on the Iowa and Minnesota divi- 
sion of the Milwaukee road in 1867, and of E. A. Wright, Wil- 
liam Sibley, and S. I. Wing, pioneer railroad men on the division. 
An account of the Austin meeting and a complete list of men 
now living who operated trains out of Minneapolis on the Iowa 
and Minnesota division from 1864 to 1870 is given in the Austin 
Weekly Herald of June 27. 

W. J. Whipple of Winona in an article entitled "Pioneer 
Doctors of Winona" in the Winona Republican-Herald of June 30, 
tells of the establishment in that city in 1872 of a preparatory 
medical school. The institution was conducted by local physi- 




cians, and students completing its course of study were fitted 
for admission into medical colleges. Biographical sketches of 
the founders of the school as well as of other members of the 
medical profession who have lived in Winona are included in 
the article. 

The Cambridge North Star of May 31 under the title "Union 
Army Fight without a General" prints extracts from a diary kept 
by A. John Carlson while serving as a member of Company H, 
Ninth Minnesota Infantry from 1862 to 1865. The portion of 
the diary given relates the experiences of the Ninth Regiment 
as part of an expedition sent out from Memphis on the thirty-first 
of May, 1864, against General Forrest, operating in western Ten- 
nessee and northern Mississippi, which resulted in a defeat of 
the Union forces and a retreat to Memphis. 

The Blooming Prairie Times is commemorating the fiftieth 
anniversary of the organization of the town of Blooming Prairie 
by the publication in its columns of a "History of Blooming 
Prairie" ; the first installment appears in the issue of June 7. An 
interesting reminiscent narrative entitled "War and Its Horrors," 
giving the Civil War experiences, both in the field and in south- 
ern prisons, of John G. Johnson of Blooming Prairie, a member 
of the Third Iowa Infantry, begins in the July 19 issue of the 
same paper. 

An account of the organization of the Home Guards Company 
at Mankato on September 14, 1862, is given in the July 17 issue of 
the Mankato Weekly Review under the title "Two Mankato 
Home Guards Companies of 1862 and 1917." This company 
formed part of Colonel Flandrau's command in the defense of 
the southern frontier during the Sioux outbreak of 1862. The 
article contains the reminiscences of C. A. Chapman of Mankato, 
one of the two surviving members of the company. 

An interesting letter from Charles S. Emmons of Lakeville, 
relating his experiences as a member of Company F, Second 
Minnesota Cavalry, is printed in the July 4 issue of the Cotton- 
wood County Citizen (Windom). This company was on patrol 
duty along the southwestern frontier fron Fort Ridgely to the 
Iowa line during 1864 and 1865. Mr. Emmons also notes many 




changes which fifty-one years have made in the valleys of the 
Cottonwood and the Des Moines rivers. 

That the battle between the Sioux and the Red River Valley 
Chippewa about the year 1820 at "Sand River" took place on 
the south bank of the Sand Hill River on his farm near Climax 
in Polk County, is the belief of Elias Steenerson of Crookston. 
The evidence in support of this conclusion is given in an article 
in the Crookston Weekly Times of June 2 entitled "Indians Fight 
Bloody Battle in This County." 

An article headed "Nicollet and Hennepin Once Held Only for 
Residences" in the Minneapolis Journal of June 17 contains many 
interesting items of local history. The early career of the West- 
minster Presbyterian Church and the attempt of Rev. Robert 
F. Sample and others to prevent the intrusion of business into 
the residential district on Fourth Street are the principal subjects 

The paper read at the 1916 meeting of the Otter Tail County 
Old Settlers' Association by the late E. E. Corliss of St. Paul, 
historian of the association, is published in full in the July 26 
issue of the Battle Lake Review. The paper is an able presenta- 
tion of the early history of the Otter Tail region during the 
period of Indian occupation, and contains descriptions of the 
battles between the Sioux and the Chippewa at Battle Lake in 
1795 and 1819. 

What is expected to be the last big log drive on the upper 
Mississippi River furnished the occasion for an interesting article 
in the Minneapolis Journal of June 21 on the history of the lum- 
ber industry in the territory tributary to Minneapolis from its 
beginnings seventy years ago. This is followed, in the Journal 
of July 8, by an interview with Caleb Dorr, a survivor of the 
old generation of log drivers, in which some of his pioneer experi- 
ences are related. 

The St. Cloud Journal Press of July 5 prints an interesting 
narrative by John Hedlund of that city, in which the writer 
describes at some length the journey of himself and wife, along 
with other emigrants, from Gothenburg, Sweden, to Minnesota 




in 1867. The article contains information on the progress of set- 
tlement in the central part of the state at that period as well as an 
account of economic and agricultural conditions. 

A biographical sketch of John McConnell of Keystone, Scott 
County, contributed to the May 10 issue of the Belle Plaine 
Herald by W. V. Working of Henderson, contains an account of 
a fortification erected during the Sioux outbreak of 1862 on an 
island in Clark's Lake in Scott County. The latter part of the 
sketch is devoted to a brief narrative of the Sully expedition of 
1864, in which Mr. McConnell participated as a member of 
Brackett's Battalion. 

The Preston Times of April 26 prints two sketches written by 
high school students, the material for which was obtained by 
personal interviews with two Civil War veterans. The first 
sketch is an account of the experiences of William Rappe of 
Preston during three years' service as a member of Company H, 
First Minnesota Heavy Artillery ; the other is based on the 
reminiscences of Gerrit Vander Bie of Bristol, a member of Com- 
pany A, Thirty-second Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. 

The Minneapolis Tribune of July 1 describes a celebration 
said to be held each year on June 14 at White Earth, Minnesota, 
in commemoration of a treaty of peace between the Sioux and 
Chippewa Indians. The article contains also information about 
the geography and resources of the reservation and about the 
life of the modern Indian, his finances, work, and recreation. 
Three illustrations accompany the article. 

Interesting sidelights on the experiences of immigrants to 
Minnesota as well as a detailed account of the sinking of the 
steamer "Julia" in the Minnesota River in 1867 are contained in 
a communication from George T. Barr in the Mankato Reviezv 
of May 10. Mr. Barr, who was a passenger on the boat when 
it sank, is now a resident of Ontario, California. 

Under the heading "Reflected Glory for Le Sueur" in the 
Le Sueur Herald of May 2 is given an account of the part played 
by Dr. William W. Mayo in the siege of New Ulm during the 
Sioux outbreak of 1862. Dr. Mayo, later known as one of the 




founders of the Mayo Clinic at Rochester, was at that time just 
beginning his career as a physician in the new village of Le Sueur. 

In an article entitled "The World Does Move" in the May 24 
issue of the Martin County Sentinel an hour's trip by auto from 
Fairmont to Winnebago is contrasted with a journey by ox team 
over the same route fifty-three years ago, giving a vivid picture 
of the great changes which a half century has made in this sec- 
tion of the state. 

Biographic sketches of twenty-six old settlers of Blue Earth 
County who have died during the last year are included in the 
memorial address read by Thomas Hughes of Mankato, historian 
of the Territorial Old Settlers' Association of Blue Earth County,, 
at the annual meeting of the association at Mankato on July 2. 
The address is printed in full in the July 3 issue of the Mankato- 
Weekly Review. 

The June 12 issue of the Blue Earth County Enterprise- 
(Mapleton) prints in full the memorial address delivered at the 
annual meeting of the Mapleton and Sterling Old Settlers' Asso- 
ciation at Mapleton, June 12, by H. C. Hotaling, editor of the 
Enterprise. The major part of the address consists of 
biographies of thirty-eight members of the association who have 
died during the year. 

In connection with an account of Memorial Day exercises the 
Verndale Sun of May 31 prints a list of Civil War veterans 
buried in the Verndale cemetery, giving the company and regi- 
ment to which each belonged. A similar list of veterans interred 
in Evergreen Cemetery, Brainerd, appears in the Brainerd Jour- 
nal Press of June 1. 

The Harmony News of July 12 contains a short account of a 
colony of Hollanders who settled in York Township, Fillmore 
County, in 1856, and of their church organization, now known 
as the Greenleafton Reformed Church. Included in the article 
is a list of the forty-one charter members of the church and of 
the pastors from 1869 to the present time. 

Facts and statistics relating to the development of the Minne- 
apolis system of parks and playgrounds are given in the May 6 




issue of the Minneapolis Journal in a review of the career of 
Chelsea J. Rockwood, attorney for the park board during the 
period from 1889 to 1917. 

An interesting article entitled "Austin's Early Shows" in the 
Austin Weekly Herald of May 2, the material for which was 
obtained from license receipts for various forms of entertain- 
ments filed in the vaults of the city hall, illustrates the value of 
such archival material in the preparation of studies of this char- 

"Barbering in the Eighties Simple and Cheap" is the title of an 
article in the Minneapolis Journal of June 6 embodying the remi- 
niscences of Charles Hegener, veteran barber of Minneapolis. 

The removal of the monument erected by the state at New Ulm 
in memory of those who came to its defense in 1862 to a point 
i one half block from its original site furnishes the occasion for 
; a brief account of its erection in 1890 which appears in the New 
Ulm Review of June 20. 

A story of the frustration of a plan of Dr. W. H. Ward, an 
: early settler of Todd County, to establish a negro settlement in 
I the vicinity of Lake Osakis about 1870, is to be found in the 

Todd County Argus (Long Prairie) of May 3 under the title 

"Negro Colony was Planned." 

An account of the early settlement of Tordenskjold Township 
of Otter Tail County by Norwegians and of the building of Fort 
Juelson during the Indian scare of July, 1876, is given in an 
article entitled "Recalls Old Times" in the Fergus Falls Daily 
Journal of May 10. In the July 4 issue of the same paper W. W. 
Gould of Clitherall describes his journey from Fillmore County 
to Battle Lake by team in the spring of 1868 and gives some 
account of the early history of Otter Tail County under the title 
"Pioneer Days in County." 

The Grygla Eagle of May 11 contains a brief history of the 
village of Grygla from the coming of the first settler in 1898 to 
the present time, with an account of the construction of the 
system of drainage ditches which made possible the develop- 
ment of this region. 




Under the title "Landed in Mankato Sixty Years Ago" Fred- 
erick Boegen in the Mankato Review of May 22 describes Man- 
kato as it appeared to him on May 15, 1857, when he arrived on 
the steamer "Favorite." 

A description of Winona as it appeared in 1863 and a nar- 
ration of her experiences during the attack on New Ulm by the 
Sioux in 1862 are contributed by Mrs. Amelia Kaiser of Winona 
to the Winona Independent of May 20. 

Under the title "Half a Century in the County" in the Litch- 
field Independent of May 2 is given an account of the arrival 
of a small group of settlers in Harvey and Manannah townships, 
Meeker County, in 1867. 

Recollections of early-day history of Mankato by Mrs. Charles 
Veigel and Mrs. George Albert, who came to the small settle- 
ment with their parents in 1857, are related in an article entitled 
""Arrived in Mankato Just Sixty Years Ago" in the June 5 issue 
of the Mankato Weekly Review. 

An article containing incidents in the life of Samuel Carver, 
who settled in Tenhassen Township, Martin County, in 1860, is 
contributed to the Martin County Sentinel of July 13 by A. N. 
Fancher of Fairmont. 

In the Stillwater Daily Gazette of April 4 a pioneer railroad 
man recalls the days when Stillwater was the headquarters for 
hundreds of lumberjacks, and describes the changes in the con- 
duct of local railroad business which a score or more years have 

A brief review of the part played by x Major Edwin Clark of 
Minneapolis in the settlement and development of the town of 
Melrose is contained in an article entitled "Father of Melrose 
Visits City" in the Melrose Beacon of July 5. 

In an editorial "Looking Backward" the Albert Lea Times- 
Enterprise of May 16 describes the first religious meeting held 
in the city, May 10, 1857. This date also marks the arrival of 
the late Dr. Albert C. Wedge, the first physician to settle in that 




An account of the first settlers in the vicinity of Twin Valley,. 
Norman County, is given in the Twin Valley Post of May 16. 

Under the title "Old Crow Wing and Vicinity" the White 
Earth Tomahawk of May 24 prints a description of the present 
appearance of the ruins of this once prosperous trading post 
together with an account of some of the early residents. 

Interesting impressions and experiences of their "First Days in 
Long Prairie" are related by several prominent men of that city 
in the Todd County Argus (Long Prairie) of May 17. 

H. B. Cummins of Eagle Lake contributes an account of the 
arrival of his father, John Cummins, and family in Le Ray Town- 
ship, Blue Earth County, July 16, 1857, to the Mankato Ledger 
of July 18 under the title "Pioneer Resident." 


Vol. 2, No. 4 
; Whole No. 12 
j November, 1917 


% m c ? t f a, 

til <Dpit}snin0 ttjjttf for Omik 00 

Sorfattet af 

— ■ ' / 

C I) r't f t i a tx i a. 




An intensive study of the separate immigrant groups which 
have streamed into America is of deep significance for an 
adequate understanding of our national life no less from the 
sociological than from the historical point of view. In tracing 
the expansion of population through the Mississippi Valley to 
the American West, the student must give careful considera- 
tion to the part played by immigrants from the Scandinavian 
countries. Interest in the history of the immigration of this 
group and in its contributions to American life has taken 
various forms. The most important of these are efforts in the 
direction of intensive research and the collection and publica- 
tion of the materials essential to such research. Source 
material abounds ; yet, owing to the fact that men whose lives 
have spanned almost the entire period of the main movement of 
Norwegian immigration are still living, no clear-cut line can 
be traced between primary and secondary materials. Further- 
more, the comparatively recent date of Scandinavian immigra- 
tion to the United States has resulted in delaying the work of 
collecting materials relating to the movement. Recently, how- 
ever, through the work of Flom, Babcock, Evjen, Anderson, 
Nelson, Norelius, Holand, and others, considerable progress has 
been made. 2 Editors of newspapers and magazines have proved 
assiduous in collecting and publishing accounts of pioneers; 

1 Translated and edited, with introduction and notes, by Theodore C. 
Blegen, instructor in history in the Riverside High School, Milwaukee, 
Wisconsin, with some assistance from Miss Franc M. Potter and Miss 
Solveig Magelssen of the staff of the Minnesota Historical Society. — Ed. 

2 The best bibliography in the field of Scandinavian immigration is 
found in Kendric C. Babcock, The Scandinavian Element in the United 
States, 183-204 (University of Illinois, Studies in the Social Sciences, 
vol. 3, no. 3, Urbana, 1914). 





and an earnest effort to centralize all available Scandinavian 
materials has been inaugurated by the Minnesota Historical 
Society. 3 

The bulk of the Norwegian immigration to this country 
arrived after 1825. Before that time immigration from Nor- 
way was isolated, although it was not inconsiderable even in 
the seventeenth century. 4 A preliminary trip of investigation 
was made in 1821 by Kleng Peerson in company with Knud 
Olson Eide. After three years of experience in America 
Peerson returned to Norway. Shortly after his arrival the 
sloop "Restaurationen," with fifty-two persons aboard, sailed 
from Stavanger, July 4, 1825, thereby beginning the great 
wave of Norwegian immigration to America. The party 
settled in Orleans County, New York, where in the next eight 
or nine years a number of new immigrants from Norway 
joined them. In 1833 Peerson proceeded to the West in search 
of a site for a new settlement and, after considerable investiga- 
tion, selected a section of La Salle County, Illinois. His action 
led to the migration of many of those who had first settled in 
New York and resulted in the Fox River settlement. Influenced 
by the letters of Gjert G. Hovland and the return of Knud A. 
Slogvig, approximately two hundred immigrants took passage 
on the "Norden" and "Den Norske Klippe" from Stavanger 
in July, 1836, and went directly to Illinois. In 1837 the 
"Enigheden" and the "7Egiv" sailed with about an equal num- 
ber of passengers. 5 From then on Norwegian immigration 
increased rapidly. 6 

3 Minnesota History Bulletin, 1:324 (May, 1916); Ungdommens Ven 
(Minneapolis), 26:443-^45 (July 15, 1915); Folkebladet (Minneapolis), 
36:689-691 (July 19, 1916). 

4 In Scandinavian Immigrants in New York, 1630-1674 (Minneapolis, 
1916) John O. Evjen produces evidence to show that at least one hundred 
and eighty-eight Scandinavians came to New York before 1700, of whom 
fifty-seven were Norwegians. 

5 For Rynning's account of the early immigration, see post, 240-243, 247. 

6 For statistics showing the increasing annual immigration from the 
Scandinavian countries to the United States from 1840 to 1910, see Bab- 
cock, Scandinavian Element, 206-209. 


The "2Eg\r" was under the command of Captain Behrens, 
who had made a voyage to America with freight and returned 
to Bergen in 1836. While in the harbor of New York he had 
evidently examined some emigrant ships — German and Eng- 
lish — and had informed himself as to proper accommodations 
for emigrants and also as to American immigration laws. 
Likewise from two German ministers returning to Germany 
aboard the "iEgir" he gained some knowledge of the German 
immigration to Pennsylvania. Upon his arrival at Bergen he 
learned that a considerable number of Norwegians were plan- 
ning to emigrate, some of them having already sold their farms 
preparatory to departure. Perceiving his opportunity, the 
captain decided to remodel his ship for passenger service, and a 
contract was drawn up by the terms of which he was to take the 
party to America in the spring of 1837. Ole Rynning, who 
was destined to be the leader of this party, and who later, 
through the publication of his Sandfczrdig Beretning om 
Amerika, became one of the important figures in the history 
of Norwegian immigration, joined the party at Bergen after 
the agreement with Captain Behrens had been made and the 
arrangements on board had been completed. He had read a 
notice of the proposed voyage in a newspaper, and had been in 
correspondence with the owner of the boat. 7 

Ole Rynning was born April 4, 1809, in Ringsaker, Norway, 
the son of Rev. Jens Rynning and his wife, Severine Cathrine 
Steen. The father was at that time curate in Ringsaker; in 
1825 he became minister of the parish of Snaasen, where he 
remained until his death in 1857, being pastor emeritus in his 

7 Knud Langeland, Nordmcundene i Amerika; Nogle Optegnelscr om 
de norskes Udvandring til Amerika, 23-29 (Chicago, 1889). Langeland, an 
immigrant of 1843, had an interview with Captain Behrens in Bergen and 
bases a part of what he writes upon his recollection of Behrens' state- 
ments. His book, though written many years later, is used as a source 
for numerous phases of the early immigration. In dates and figures it is 
unreliable, but in other matters it can generally be depended upon. Lange- 
land states emphatically that Rynning had no part in bringing about the 
emigration of this group. 




later years. Ole's parents desired him to enter the church, and 
in 1829 he passed the examinations for matriculation at the 
University of Christiania. Four years later, upon completing 
his work at the university, he gave up the thought of entering 
the ministry and returned to Snaasen, where he conducted a 
private school for advanced students. Langeland declares that 
the immediate cause of Rynning's emigration was a betrothal 
which his father looked upon as a mesalliance. It seems, 
furthermore, that his father was of an aristocratic bent of mind, 
and serious differences in views existed between him and his 
son, who was thoroughly democratic and sympathized with 
the peasantry. According to the statement of his nephew, 
Ole had made a contract to buy a marsh with two small adjoin- 
ing farms for the sum of four hundred dollars (Norwegian 
money) . As he was unable to raise this amount he decided to 
seek his fortune in the new world. 8 It is probable that Ryn- 
ning's case is typical of many in that his decision to emigrate 
was occasioned by a number of widely different, reenforcing 

The "iEgir" with its eighty-four passengers sailed from 
Bergen on April 7, 1837. In mid-ocean the vessel had a slight 
collision with the British ship, "Barelto," but though the pas- 
sengers were frightened, no great damage was done; and the 
boat arrived at New York on the evening of June 9. 9 Lange- 
land relates some interesting details regarding the voyage. 

8 Bernt J. Muus, Jens Rynnings 2Et, 2, 8 (1894), and his sketch of 
Ole Rynning in Rasmus B. Anderson, The First Chapter of Norwegian 
Immigration, 1821-1840, pp. 203-205 (Madison, 1895). See also Lange- 
land, Nordmcendene i Amerika, 26. 

9 The following notice appeared in the New York Evening Star, 
June 10, 1837, p. 2 : "Marine Intelligence. Arrived last evening. Nor- 
wegian bark Aegir, Behrens, 62 ds fm Bergen, with 2 bis plants and 84 
passengers, to order May 8th, lat 39 34, Ion 32 18 was run into by Br ship 
Barelto, fm Madras for London — both vessels received trifling damage." 
The date of the departure of the ".ZEgir" is corroborated in Ole K. Nat- 
testad, Beskrivelse over en Reise til Nordamerica, begyndt den 8de April 
I ^37 og skrevet paa Skibet Hilda samt siden fortsat paa Reisen op\ 
igjennem de Forenede Stater i Nordamerica, 23 (Drammen, Norway, 


Not all Norwegians are sailors, popular ideas to the contrary 
notwithstanding. In this company were peasants who had 
never seen the sea before; they soon overcame their fear, 
however. During the first part of the voyage they amused 
themselves with peasant dances on the deck to the music of a 
fiddle; but the captain had to put a stop to this as it was too 
hard on the deck floor. A festival held on board ship is of 
interest because a poem composed by Rynning was sung on 
the occasion. His book and this verse are the only known 
writings from Rynning's hand. It is the oldest piece of poetry 
written by a Norwegian immigrant in the nineteenth century. 
In somewhat free translation it may be rendered as follows : 

Beyond the surge of the vast salt waves 
Deep hid lies Norway's rocky shore. 

But longing yearns the sea to brave 
For dim oak forests known of yore. 

The whistling spruce and glacier's boom 

Are harmonies to Norway's son. 

Though destiny, as Leif and Bjorn, 

Call northern son to alien West, 
Yet will his heart in mem'ry turn 

To native mountains loved the best, 
As longs the heart of a lone son 
To his loved home once more to come. 10 

Influenced by Slogvig and by letters from the Illinois coun- 
try, the "^Egir" party intended originally to go the settlement 

1839). The date is incorrectly given in George T. Flom, A History of 
Norwegian Immigration to the United States, 100 (Iowa City, 1909), 
and in Hjalmar R. Holand, De norske Settlementers Historic, 50 
(Ephraim, Wisconsin, 1908). With reference to the number of passen- 
gers, see also Langeland, Nordmcendene i Amerika, 25, and the state- 
ment of Mons Aadland as given by Svein Nilsson in his "De skan- 
dinaviske Setlementer i Amerika" in Billed-Magazin, 1 : 30. No evi- 
dence has been found to support Flom's statement that the passengers 

i numbered eighty-two. 

10 The poem is found in Anderson's reprint of Rynning's book (see 
Post, 234, n. 25) and in his First Chapter of Norwegian Immigration, 206; 

! also in Langeland, Nordmcendene i Amerika, 27. 




in La Salle County. At New York they took a steamer on the 
Hudson River to Albany, then went by canal boat from Albany 
to Buffalo, and from there continued their journey by way 
of Lake Erie to Detroit. 11 The traveling expenses were 
greater than they had expected, and one of their number, Nils 
P. Langeland, having a large family and funds insufficient for 
continuing the journey, remained at Detroit. 12 Here two 
interesting and important pioneers of the Norwegian immigra- 
tion movement joined the group of immigrants. These were 
the brothers, Ole and Ansten Nattestad, who had reached New 
York by way of Gothenburg and Fall River, Massachusetts, a 
few days after the arrival of the "^Egir." In his journal Ole 
Nattestad gives the following account of the meeting: "On 
the street I met one of the Norwegians who had sailed from 
Bergen on the seventh of April preceding. In the course of 
my conversation with him he said that there were about eighty 
persons of them, who were going to Chicago, and they had 
remained here five days without securing passage, but they were 
to leave in two days." 13 The upshot of the meeting was that 
the Nattestads joined the party. 

The boat to Chicago was greatly crowded, and the immi- 
grants suffered not a little inconvenience. Shortly after land- 
ing, they received from Norwegians reports unfavorable to the 
Fox River region, in which it had been their intention to settle. 
Many were discouraged, especially the women, and plans were 
changed. The suggestion of Beaver Creek, about seventy 
miles south of Chicago in Iroquois County, Illinois, as a site 
for settlement seems to have come from a couple of Americans, 

11 Post, 267. 

12 Langeland, Nordmcendene i Amerika, 28. For the later career of 
Langeland, who was the first Norwegian to settle in the state of Michigan, 
see Flom, Norwegian Immigration, 101, and Aadland's account as given 
by Nilsson in Billed-Magazin, 1 : 30. 

1 3 Nattestad, Beskrivelse, 11-13, 23. Interviews with both Ole and 
Ansten Nattestad are given by Nilsson in Billed-Magazin, 1 : 82-84, 94, 
102-104; translated in part in Anderson, First Chapter of Norwegian 
Immigration, 238-253, 207, 216. 


possibly land speculators, with whom Rynning talked in Chi- 
cago. Rynning at this time was particularly useful because he 
was able to speak English. Disappointed once, the company 
decided to proceed cautiously, and therefore delegated four 
men, whose expenses were to be paid by the party, to act as a 
committee of investigation. These men, Ole Rynning, Ingebrigt 
Brudvig, Ole Nattestad, and Niels Veste, walked south of 
Chicago 1 and, after examining the land under consideration, 
chose a site at Beaver Creek. Ole Nattestad declared later that 
he did not approve of the site selected because it was too sandy 
and swampy. Leaving two of the committee at Beaver Creek 
to build a log house preparatory to the arrival of the immi- 
grants, Rynning and Brudvig returned to Chicago to acquaint 
the party with the results of their investigation and to pilot it 
i to the place of settlement. 

The land at Beaver Creek was favorably described by Ryn- 
ining and his companion. Accordingly, oxen and wagons were 
I purchased, and preparations made to leave Chicago. The com- 
I pany was now reduced in numbers to about fifty, some having 
igone to Fox River with Bjorn A. Kvelve, and others having 
dropped out at Rochester. The remainder made their way to 
Beaver Creek and began at once to prepare for the oncoming 
winter. Land was selected, and log houses were built in suffi- 
cient number to accommodate all. 

No other settlers lived in the vicinity, and there was some 
dissatisfaction because of difficulty in securing supplies. Lange- 
land states that the nearest mill was seventy miles away. For 
a time considerable grumbling was directed against Rynning 
and others who were responsible for the location of the site; 
but when Ole Nattestad returned in the autumn from a short 
trip he found the colonists in good spirits. Later events 
proved, however, that a tragic mistake had been made. The 
ground, which was very low, had been examined in late sum- 
mer, and, because of the dryness and the overgrowth of grass, 
the men had been deceived. As soon as spring came and the 
flat land of the settlement was under water, its truly swampy 




character was revealed; and the unfortunate settlers were in 
sore straits. To make matters worse, the climate was extremely 
unhealthful, and malarial fever developed among the settlers. 
Sickness began to claim daily victims, and most of the settlers 
succumbed, including Ole Rynning. Some of the survivors 
removed to La Salle County in the spring of the following 
year, but a few remained. The last to leave was Mons Aadland. 
In 1840, finding his capital reduced to three dollars, he 
exchanged his farm for a small herd of cattle and went to 
Racine County, Wisconsin. In realizing something for his 
land he was more fortunate than most of his companions. They 
practically fled from the settlement, and of course could not 
sell their land. No one cared to buy land in a swampy, malaria- 
infested region. "Only the empty log houses remained, like 
silent witnesses to the terrors of the scourge, and afforded a 
dismal sight to the lonesome wanderer who ventured within 
these domains." 14 

Rynning's personality left a deep impress upon the minds of 
those who knew him, and there are not a few testimonies to the 
inherent nobility and self-sacrificing nature of the man. One 
of the survivors of the settlement, Ansten Nattestad, is reported i 
to have said of him : "He himself was contented with little, ; 
and was remarkably patient under the greatest sufferings. I well I 
remember one time when he came home from a long exploring I 
expedition. Frost had set in during his absence. The ice on 
the swamps and the crusts of snow cut his boots. He finally 
reached the colony, but his feet were frozen and lacerated, i 
They presented a terrible sight, and we all thought he would I 
be a cripple for life." In this condition Rynning wrote the !| 
manuscript of Sandfcerdig Beretning am Amerika in the I 
winter of 1837-38. As soon as he completed a chapter of it, j 

14 For accounts of the Beaver Creek settlement, see Nattestad, I 
Beskrivelse, 23, 25-27; Lahgeland, Nordmcendene i Amerika, 29-31, 32; 
Nilsson's reports of interviews with Aadland and the Nattestad brothers 
in Billed-Magazin, 1:30, 84, 95; and Anderson, First Chapter of Nor- 
wegian Immigration, 245-247. 



he would read it aloud to Nattestad and others, to get their 
opinions. There is something admirable in the picture of 
Rynning, sick and confined to his bed, writing a description of 
the conditions and problems of life in the new world for the 
benefit of those in the old country who were considering seek- 
ing homes within its bounds. When he had regained his health, 
Rynning resumed work among the colonists. But in the fall 
of 1838 he "was again confined to the sick-bed," according to 
Nattestad, "and died soon thereafter to the great sorrow of 
all." 15 A pathetic incident is related which illustrates the 
deplorable conditions in the settlement at the time of Rynning's 
death. Only one person in the colony was well at the time. 
This man is said to have gone "out on the prairie and chopped 
down an oak and made a sort of coffin of it. His brother 
helped him to get the dead body into the coffin and then they 
hauled it out on the prairie and buried it." 16 Thus Ole Ryn- 
ning, the leader of the "^Egir" group and, through his book, 
one of the noteworthy figures in the history of Norwegian 
I immigration to America, lies in an unmarked grave. 

To the philanthropic and helpful spirit of Rynning there are 
many testimonies. When the immigrants in Chicago received 
adverse reports of the Fox River region, they became com- 
pletely dispirited. They had come from afar; they had ven- 
tured much ; this region had been their goal ; little wonder that 
their courage was shaken ! "But in this critical situation," says 
Ole Nattestad, "the greatness of Ole Rynning's spirit was 
revealed in its true light. He stood in the midst of those who 
were ready for mutiny; he comforted the despairing, counseled 
with those who were in doubt, and reproved those who were 

15 Nilsson in Billed-Magazin, 1 : 95 ; Anderson, First Chapter of Nor- 
wegian Immigration, 208. According to Johan R. Reierscn, Rynning's 
death was caused by unhealthful work on the Illinois and Michigan 
Canal. Veiviser for norske Emigranter til de forenede nordamerikanske 
Stater og Texas, 151 (Christiania, 1844). 

16 Muus in Anderson, First Chapter of Norwegian Immigration, 204. 
The story was related to Muus by a Mrs. Davidson, at whose house 
Rynning lived mo^t of the time. 




obstinate. He wavered not for an instant, and his coolness, 
undauntedness, and noble self-sacrifice for the welfare of 
others calmed the spirits of all. The storm abated, and the 
dissatisfaction gave place to a unanimous confidence." Ansten 
Nattestad declares : "All his dealings proclaimed the philan- 
thropist. I have never known any one with such noble prin- 
ciples and such a completely disinterested habit of thought. . . . 
A great and good idea formed the central point of all his 
thinking. He hoped to be able to provide the poor, oppressed 
Norwegian workman a happier home on this side of the sea, 
and to realize this wish he shunned no sacrifice, endured the 
greatest exertions, and was patient through misunderstandings, 
disappointments, and loss. . . . ,When sickness and suffering 
visited the colonists, he was always ready to comfort the sor- 
rowing and to aid those in distress so far as it lay in his power. 
Nothing could shake his belief that America would become a 
place of refuge for the masses of people in Europe who toiled 
under the burdens of poverty." 17 

In the spring of 1838 Ansten Nattestad made a trip to Nor- 
way to visit friends and relatives, going by way of New Orleans 
and Liverpool. He took with him "letters from nearly all the 
earlier Norwegian emigrants" whom he had met, and was thus 
instrumental in disseminating in Norway much information 
about America. He carried with him also the manuscript of 
his brother Ole's Beskrivelse over en Reise til Nordamerica, 
published in Drammen in 1839; and the manuscript of Ryn- 
ning's Sandfcerdig Beretning om Amerika, published in Chris- 
tiania in 1838. 18 Among the peasants of Norway very little 
was known at this time of America; consequently there was 

17 Nilsson in Billed-Magazin, 1 : 84, 95. 

18 An account which Ansten Nattestad has given of circumstances in 
connection with the printing of Rynning's book is of interest to the 
student of the causes of early Norwegian emigration. "Dean Kragh 
in Eidsvold read the proofs, and struck out the chapter about the 
Norwegian ministers who were accused of intolerance in religious 
matters and of inactivity in respect to the improvement of the condi- 
tion of the people in temporal matters and in questions concerning the 


great eagerness to get definite information on the problems 
connected with emigration, especially regarding prospects in 
the new land. Not a little light is thrown upon the situation 
by the following statement of Nattestad : "I remained in 
Numedal throughout the winter and until the following spring. 
The report of my return spread like wildfire through the land, 
and an incredible number of people came to me to hear news 
from America. Many traveled as far as twenty Norwegian 
miles 19 to talk with me. It was impossible to answer all the 
letters which came to me containing questions in regard to 
conditions on the other side of the ocean. In the spring of 
1839 about one hundred persons from Numedal stood ready 
to go with me across the sea. Among these were many farmers 
and heads of families, all, except the children, able-bodied and 
persons in their best years. In addition to these there were 
some from Thelemarken and from Numedal who were unable 
to go with me as our ship was full. We went directly from 
Drammen to New York." 20 Rynning's account, together with 
the presence of Ansten Nattestad and the influence of Ole 
| Nattestad's book, had a considerable effect upon emigration, 
especially from Numedal, a region in the southern part of 
Norway between Christiania and Hardanger. The two books, 
particularly Rynning's, "in which a scholarly and graphic 

advancement of education." Nilsson in Billcd-Magazin, 1:94. Anderson, 
in his studies of early Norwegian emigration, has attempted to prove 
I that the chief motive was religious persecution. In commenting upon 
I this omitted chapter he says : "I have mentioned the expunging of the 
[ chapter on the clergy from Rynning's book by the Rev. Mr. Kragh 
j to emphasize the fact that Ole Rynning looked upon the early Nor- 
j wegian emigration to America in the same light as that in which I am 
! constantly presenting it." First Chapter of Norwegian Immigration, 218. 
Discussing the same matter, Dr. Babcock says : "While religious repres- 
sion was a real grievance and afflicted many of the early emigrants, 
( the cases where it was the moving or dominant cause of emigration 
| after 1835 are so few as to be almost negligible. At best, it reenforccd 
} and completed a determination based on other motives." Scandinavian 
j Element, 39, 40. 

j 19 A Norwegian mile is equivalent to seven English miles. 
20 Nilsson in Billed-Magazin, 1 : 94. 




account of conditions and prospects in the new world were 
presented, were quickly spread throughout Norway," writes 
Anderson, "and from this time on we may regard regular 
emigration from various parts of Norway as fully established, 
though emigrant packets do not appear to have begun to ply 
regularly until after 1840." 21 

Nilsson, relying on information supplied him by Gullik O. 
Gravdal, an immigrant of 1839, says of Nattestad's return to 
Norway and of the influence of Rynning's book : "Hardly any 
other Norwegian publication has been purchased and read with 
such avidity as this Rynning's Account of America. People 
traveled long distances to hear 'news' from the land of wonders, 
and many who before were scarcely able to read began in 
earnest to practice in the 'America-book,' making such progress 
that they were soon able to spell their way forward and acquire 
most of the contents. The sensation created by Ansten's 
return was much the same as that which one might imagine a 
dead man would create, were he to return to tell of the life 
beyond the grave. Throughout the winter he was continually 
surrounded by groups who listened attentively to his stories. 
Since many came long distances in order to talk with him, the 
reports of the far west were soon spread over a large part of 
the country. Ministers and bailiffs, says Gullik Gravdal, tried 
to frighten us with terrible tales about the dreadful sea 
monsters, and about man-eating wild animals in the new world ; 
but when Ansten Nattestad had said Yes and Amen to Ryn- 
ning's Account, all fears and doubts were removed." 22 

21 First Chapter of Norwegian Immigration, 267. See also Flom, 
Norwegian Immigration, 103; Langeland, Nordmoendene i Amerika, 87; 
Nilsson in Billed-Magazin, 1 : 7, 94. 

22 Billed-Magazin, 1:154. Anderson gives a typical example of the 
influence of Rynning's book. "In the winter of 1839 there was a party 
at the house of Mr. Gilderhus in Voss [a district in the western part 
of Norway near Bergen], and one man read aloud out of Ole Rynning's 
book. All listened attentively. It is said that wherever Ole Rynning's 
book was read anywhere in Norway, people listened as attentively as if 
they were in church. Several Vossings resolved to emigrate that year, 
and in obedience to instructions in Rynning's book all took guns or 


The report of Rynning's death and the pathetic end of the 
Beaver Creek colony probably dampened the ardor of prospec- 
tive immigrants. Nilsson gives an interesting account by an 
eyewitness of the effect of Rynning's book and of his death 
upon the people of his home town. "For a time I believed that 
(half of the population of Snaasen had lost their senses. Noth- 
ing else was spoken of than the land which flows with milk and 
honey. Our minister, Ole Rynning's father, tried to stop the 
fever. Even from the pulpit he urged the people to be discreet 
and described the hardships of the voyage and the cruelty of 
the American savage in most forbidding colors. This was 
only pouring oil upon the fire. Candidate Ole Rynning was 
one of those philanthropists for whom no sacrifice is too great 
if it can only contribute to the happiness of others. He was, 
in the fullest sense, a friend of the people, the spokesman of the 
poor and one whose mouth never knew deceit. Thus his char- 
acter was judged, and his lack of practical sense and his help- 
lessness in respect to the duties of life were overlooked. But 
then came the news : Ole Rynning is no more. This acted as 
cold water upon the blood of the people. The report of his 
: death caused sorrow throughout the whole parish, for but few 
have been so commonly loved as this man. Now the desire to 
| emigrate cooled also, and many of those who formerly had 
: spoken most enthusiastically in favor of emigration now shud- 
! dered with fear at the thought of America's unhealthful climate, 
which, in the best years of his strength and health, had bereaved 
jthem of their favorite, 'Han Ola,' who had not an enemy but 
a multitude of friends, who looked up to him as to a higher 
being, equipped with all those accomplishments which call forth 
the high esteem and trust of his fellow citizens." 23 According 
to Reiersen, Rynning's death caused a temporary cessation of 

! rifles with them to be prepared for all the wild game they expected to 
I find in America. Thus it will be seen that Rynning's book also found 
(its way to Voss, where it had an important influence on emigration." 
; First Chapter of Norwegian Immigration, 331. 
23 Billed-Magazin, 1 : 45. 




emigration in the years from 1839 to 1841, and not until 
reports were fuller did the great movement of 1843 begin. A 
considerable number, however, emigrated in 1839. In explain- 
ing the lull during the years 1840 and 1841, Flom suggests that 
the prospective emigrants, realizing the many serious difficulties 
connected with emigration, were simply awaiting favorable 
news from friends and relatives in America. The tragedy at 
Beaver Creek probably had some effect in creating this spirit 
of cautiousness. The book was nevertheless distributed in 
many parts of Norway where no report of the Beaver Creek 
colonists came ; and, as Babcock says, "by its compact informa- 
tion and its intelligent advice, it converted many to the new 
movement." 24 

Rynning's Sandfcerdig Beretning om Amerika, a booklet of 
thirty-nine pages, is now very rare. A copy which formerly 
belonged to Rynning's nephew, Rev. B. J. Muus, and is now in 
the library of the University of Illinois is the only one known 
to be in existence. Using this copy, Rasmus B. Anderson pub- 
lished a reprint in 1896 with the title Student Ole Rynnings 
Amerikabog. 25 The edition of the reprint was so small that it 
is now almost as difficult to obtain as the original. Although 
the work has been used by writers on Norwegian immigration, 
this is the first complete translation. 26 In making it the trans- 

24 Reiersen, Veiviser, 151; Flom, Norwegian Immigration, 152; Bab- 
cock, Scandinavian Element, 37, 40. 

25 The title page reads "Student Ole Rynnings Amerikabog. Paany 
udgiven af Rasmus B. Anderson, fhv. Gesandt, Forf. af 'First Chapter 
of Norwegian Immigration' osv. osv. Madison, Wis. 'Wis. Nordmandens' 
Bogtrykkeri. 1896." This reprint, a paper-bound pamphlet of fifty-six 
pages, consists of a preface of two pages, the original text with no 
annotations, and a one-page appendix containing Rynning's poem. The 
quality of the paper is poor, and there are occasional typographical 
errors. The title page on page 5, supposed to be a reprint of the original, 
differs from it in two particulars: the insertion of the line "Forlagt af 
Guldberg & Dzwonkowski." below "Christiania," and the substitution of 
"1839" for "1838" as the date of publication. 

26 The title, preface, chapter headings, and part of chapter seven are 
translated by Anderson in his First Chapter of Norwegian Immigration, 
208-215. Babcock in his Scandinavian Element, 37-39, also translates 


lator has used a copy of the reprint in the library of the 
Minnesota Historical Society, with corrections at some points 
from the copy of the original in the library of the University 
of Illinois. 27 

Theodore C. Blegen 

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 

[Title Page] 

True Account of America for the Information and Help of 
Peasant and Commoner. Written by a Norwegian who arrived 
there in the month of June, 1837. Christiania. 1838. 

[Verso of Title Page] 

Printed in the office of Guldberg and Dzwonkowski by P. T. 

the preface and chapter headings, and summarizes other portions. Flom 
in his Norwegian Immigration, 86, 103-107, gives a brief outline of the 
ibook and translates a few scattered passages. 

27 Other rare books dealing with early Norwegian immigration are 
I'Nattestad, Beskrivelse ; Reiersen, Veiviser; Johannes W. C. Dietrichson, 
l/?me blandt de norske Emigranter i "de forenede nordamerikanske Fri- 
stater" (Stavanger, 1846), and Billed-Magazin, a weekly, the first volume 
of which, published at Madison, Wisconsin, in 1869, contains the series 
of historical sketches of early Norwegian settlements in America, under 
the general title "De skandinaviske Setlementer i Amerika," by Professor 
Svein Nilsson, who gathered his material in personal interviews with 
j Norwegian pioneers. The only known copy of Nattestad's book, found 
I in Numedal, is now in the library of the Wisconsin Historical Society. 
I A translation of this is to be printed in the Wisconsin Magazine of 
\History for December, 1917. Copies of Reiersen's Veiviser are in the 
j libraries of the University of Illinois and the Minnesota Historical Society, 
while the Library of Congress has an original of Dietrichson's Reise. 
jBoth of these books have been reprinted by Anderson, the former in his 
newspaper Amerika for 1899, a file of which is in the library of the Wis- 
consin Historical Society, and the latter as a separate pamphlet (Madison, 
(1896), copies of which may be found in the libraries of the University of 
I Illinois and the Minnesota Historical Society. Mr. Albert O. Barton of 
! Madison, Wisconsin, possesses a file of Billed-Magazin, which he courte- 
ously put at the disposal of the writer. A copy of the first volume is 
jilso in the library of the Wisconsin Historical Society. 





Dear countrymen — peasants and artisans : 

I have now been in America eight months, and in this time 
have had an opportunity to learn much in regard to which I 
vainly sought to procure information before I left Norway. I 
felt at that time how unpleasant it is for those who wish to 
emigrate to America to be without a trustworthy and fairly 
detailed account of the country. I learned also how great the 
ignorance of the people is, and what false and preposterous 
reports were believed as full truth. It has therefore been my 
endeavor in this little publication to answer every question that 
I myself raised, to make clear every point in regard to which I 
observed that people were in ignorance, and to refute the false 
reports which have come to my ears, partly before my departure 
from Norway and partly after my arrival here. I trust, dear 
reader, that you will not find any point concerning which you 
desired information overlooked or imperfectly treated. 

Ole Rynning 


1. In what general direction from Norway is America 

situated, and how far is it away? 

2. How did the country first become known ? 

3. What in general is the nature of the country, and for what 

reason do so many people go there, and expect to make 
a living? 

4. Is it not to be feared that the land will soon be over- 

populated? Is it true that the government is going to 
prohibit more people from coming? 

5. In what part of the country have the Norwegians settled? 

What is the most convenient and cheapest way to reach 


6. What is the nature of the land were the Norwegians have 

settled? What does good land cost? What are the 
prices of cattle and of provisions? How high are 
wages ? 

7. What kind of religion is to be found in America? Is there 

any kind of order or government in the land, or can 
every one do as he pleases ? 

8. What provisions are made for the education of children, 

and for the care of poor people? 

9. What language is spoken in America? Is it difficult to 

learn ? 

10. Is there considerable danger from disease in America? Is 

there reason to fear wild animals and the Indians? 

11. For what kind of people is it advisable to emigrate to 

America, and for whom is it not advisable? — Caution 
against unreasonable expectations. 

12. What particular dangers is one likely to encounter on the 

ocean ? Is it true that those who are brought to America 
are sold as slaves ? 

13. Guiding advice for those who wish to go to America. How 

they should hire a ship; how they should exchange their 
money; what time of the year and what route are the 
most convenient ; what they ought to take with them. 

Account of America 

1 . In what general direction from Norway is America situated, 
and how far is it away ? 

America is a very large continent which is situated 
westward from Norway. It stretches about thirteen hundred 
[Norwegian] miles from north to south, and consists of two 
chief divisions which are connected only by a narrow isthmus. 
That part which lies north of this isthmus is called North 
America, and that which is situated south of it is called South 
America. Each of these sections includes many countries 
which are just as different in name, government, and situation 




as Norway and England, or Norway and Spain. Therefore, 
when emigration to America is being considered, you must ask, 
"To what part of America, and to what province?" The most 
important country in all America with respect to population as 
well as to freedom and happy form of government is the 
"United States" in North America. Usually, therefore, this 
country is meant when you hear some one speak of America in 
an indefinite way. It is to this land your countrymen have 
emigrated ; and it is this land which I shall now describe. 

The United States is situated about southwest from Norway. 
To go there you must sail over an ocean which is about nine 
hundred Norwegian miles wide. With a favorable wind and on 
a ship that sails well you can cross in less than a month; but 
the usual time is nine weeks, sometimes a little more, sometimes 
less. 28 As a matter of fact the wind is generally from the west, 
and therefore against you, when you are sailing to America. 
Depending upon the nature of the weather, you go sometimes 
north of Scotland, which is the shortest way, and sometimes 
through the channel between England and France. 

Since America lies so far to the west, noon occurs there a 
little over six hours later than in Norway. The sun — as com- 
monly expressed — passes around the earth in twenty-four 
hours, a phenomenon experienced every day; hence six hours 
is one fourth of the time required in passing around. It may 
therefore be concluded that from Norway to America is one 
fourth of the entire distance around the earth. 

2. How did the country first become known? 

It is clearly shown by the old sagas that the Norwegians 
knew of America before the black death. They called the land 
Vinland the Good, and found that it had low coasts, which 
were everywhere overgrown with woods. Nevertheless there 

28 The "^gir," on which Rynning crossed, made the voyage in sixty- 
two days. Most of the vessels of the time seem to have required about 
two months, and not infrequently more than that. A party of which 
Rev. O. C. Hjort of Chicago was a member spent five months on the 
sea. Babcock, Scandinavian Element, 34. See also post, 241, 264 n. t. 


were human beings there even at that time ; but they were 
savage, and the Northmen had so little respect for them as to 
call them "Skrellings." 29 After the black death in 1350 the 
Norwegians forgot the way to Vinland the Good, and the 
credit for the discovery of America is now given to Christopher 
Columbus, who found the way there in 1492. He was at that 
time in the service of the Spanish ; and the Spaniards, there- 
fore, reaped the first benefits of this important discovery. 

During the reign of Queen Elizabeth over England English- 
men for the first time sailed along the western [sic] coast of 
North America, and Walter Raleigh established the first Eng- 
lish colony, which he called Virginia. Gradually several 
colonies were established by various nations. Some Nor- 
wegians also founded a little town in 1624, which they named 
Bergen, in that part of the country which is now called New- 
Jersey. 30 The English maintained predominance, however, 
and the country was under their jurisdiction until the fourth of 
July, 1776, when it separated' from England and formed a free 
government without a king. Since that time it is almost unbe- 
lievable how rapidly the country has progressed in wealth and 

29 "A disparaging epithet, meaning inferior people, i.e., savages." 
Julius E. Olson in The Northmen, Columbus, and Cabot, 985-1503, p. 36, 
n. 3 (Original Narratives of Early American History — New York, 1906). 

30 There is no basis of fact for this statement. Probably the origin 
of the belief that Bergen was a Norwegian colony is the name itself. 
It has been asserted that Hans Hansen, from Bergen, Norway, who 
settled in New Amsterdam in 1633, lead a group of Dutch and Nor- 
wegians across the Hudson River, and founded Bergen, later Jersey 
City, New Jersey, and furthermore that Bergen, city as well as county, 
was named after Hans Hansen Bergen. Holand, De norskc Settlementers 
Historie, 25. Evjen has proved that this is not the fact. Bergen, New 
Jersey, was named after Bergen op Zoom, and was founded after the 
death of Hans Hansen, who had no property on the west side of the 
Hudson where Bergen was located. Scandinavian Immigrants in Nezv 
York, 14, n., 57, 280, and "Nordmaend i Amerika i det 17de Aarhundrede" 
in Folkebladet (Minneapolis), February 2, 1910. Langeland, apparently 
using Rynning as his source, repeats the story of Bergen as a Norwegian 
colony founded in 1624. N ordmcendene i Amerika, 9. 




In 1821 a person by the name of Kleng Peerson from the 
county of Stavanger in Norway emigrated to New York in 
the United States. He made a short visit back to Norway in 
1824 and, through his accounts of America, awakened in many 
the desire to go there. 31 An emigration party consisting of 
fifty-two persons bought a little sloop for eighteen hundred 
speciedaler 32 and loaded it with iron to go to New York. The 
skipper and mate themselves took part in this little speculation. 
They passed through the channel and came into a little outport 
on the coast of England, 33 where they began to sell whiskey, 
which is a forbidden article of sale at that place. When they 
found out what danger they had thereby incurred, they had to 
make to sea again in greatest haste. Either on account of the 
ignorance of the skipper or because of head winds, they sailed 
as far south as the Madeira Islands. 34 There they found a cask 
of madeira wine floating on the sea, which they hauled into 
the boat and from which they began to pump and drink. When 
the whole crew had become tipsy, the ship came drifting into 

31 For varying accounts of the immigration of 1825, see the narrative 
of Ansten Nattestad as given by Nilsson in Billed-Magazin, 1:102-104; 
Anderson, First Chapter of Norwegian Immigration, 54-131 ; Babcock, 
Scandinavian Element, 22-29; Flom, Norwegian Immigration, 45-54; 
Langeland, N ordmoendene i Amerika, 10-13 ; Olaf N. Nelson, "The First 
Norwegian Immigration, or The Sloop Party of 1825" in History of the 
Scandinavians in the United States, part 1, pp. 125-134p (Nelson ed., 
2d edition, 1904) ; Johannes B. Wist, Den norske Indvandring til 1850 og 
Skandinaverne i Amerikas Politik, 14-17. There is considerable difference 
of opinion as to the motives and influence of Peerson and the relative 
importance of religious as compared with economic factors in bringing 
about this emigration. 

32 According to Flom's valuation of the Norwegian speciedaler the 
purchase price amounted to about thirteen hundred and seventy dollars 
of American money. Norwegian Immigration, 224. 

33 The harbor of Lisett. Nilsson in Billed-Magazin, 1 : 71. 

34 In the New York Daily Advertiser, October 15, 1825, the captain 
and passengers of the sloop publicly acknowledge their thanks to John H. 
March, the American consul at Madeira, for his hospitality to the com- 
pany when they touched at that island, and also to the inhabitants of the 
island for their kindness. Anderson, First Chapter of Norwegian Immi- 
gration, 72. 




the harbor like a plague ship, without command, and without 
raising its flag. A man on a vessel from Bremen, which was 
lying in port, shouted to them that they must imme- 
diately hoist their flag if they did not wish to be fired upon by 
the cannons of the fortress, which, indeed, were already being 
aimed at them. Finally one of the passengers found the flag 
and had it raised. After this and other dangers they at length 
reached New York in the summer of 1825. In all, the voyage 
from Stavanger to America had taken fourteen weeks, which 
is the longest time I know any Norwegian to have been on 
the way. 35 Nobody, however, had died on the sea, and all were 
well when they landed. It created universal surprise in New 
York that the Norwegians had ventured over the wide sea in 
so small a vessel, a feat hitherto unheard of. 36 Either through 
ignorance or misunderstanding the ship had carried more 
passengers than the American laws permitted, and therefore the 
skipper and the ship with its cargo were seized by the authori- 
ties. 37 Now I can not say with certainty whether the govern- 
ment voluntarily dropped the matter in consideration of the 
ignorance and child-like conduct of our good countrymen, or 
whether the Quakers had already at this time interposed for 
them ; all I am sure of is that the skipper was released, and the 
ship and its cargo were returned to their owners. They lost 
considerably by the sale of the same, however, which did not 
bring them more than four hundred dollars. The skipper and 
the mate settled in New York. Through contributions from 
the Quakers the others were enabled to go farther up into the 

35 The sloop sailed from Stavanger on July 4 with fifty-two pas- 
sengers, reached Funchal, Madeira, July 28, and sailed from that port 
on July 31. When New York was reached, October 9, the party num- 
bered fifty-three, a child having been born during the voyage. Anderson, 
First Chapter of Norwegian Immigration, 57-59. 

36 See extracts from contemporary New York newspapers in Anderson, 
First Chapter of Norwegian Immigration, 69-76. 

37 A law of March 2, 1819, allowed only two passengers to each five 
tons. United States, Statutes at Large, 3 : 488. The sloop had an excess 
of twenty. 




country. Two Quakers in the company established themselves 
in Rochester. One of these, Lars Larson by name, lives there 
still. 38 The others bought land in Murray, 39 five miles north- 
west of Rochester. They had to give five dollars an acre, but, 
since they did not have money with which to liquidate the entire 
amount at once, they made arrangements to pay by installments 
within ten years. Each one bought about forty acres. The 
land was thickly overgrown with woods and difficult to clear. 
Consequently, during the first four or five years conditions 
were very hard for these people. They often suffered great 
need, and wished themselves back in Norway; but they saw 
no possibility of getting there without giving up the last mite 
of their property, and they would not return as beggars. Well- 
to-do neighbors assisted them, however, and by their own 
industry they at last got their land in such condition that they 
could earn a living from it, and live better than in their old 
native land. As a result of their letters, more Norwegian 
peasants were now encouraged to try their fortunes in America ; 
but they went only singly, and commonly took the route by 
way of Gothenburg, Sweden, where there is often a chance to 
get passage for America. One of those who went by this route, 
a man by the name of Gjert Gregoriussen Hovland, wrote 
several letters to his friends in Norway, which were copied 
many times and sent about to many districts in the diocese of 
Bergen. 40 In 1835 one of the first emigrants, a young bachelor 

38 Larson, who was one of the founders of the Society of Friends in 
Norway, is said to have been the organizer and leader of this first group 
of immigrants. At his home in Rochester "in the years from 1836 to 
1845 he received visits from thousands of Norwegians, who were on 
their way from Norway to Illinois and Wisconsin. They brought him 
fresh news from Norway and from him they received valuable informa- 
tion and advice concerning America." Anderson, First Chapter of Nor- 
wegian Immigration, 45-47, 56, 65-68. See also Nilsson in Billed-Magazin, 
1: 72. 

39 The original name of the northeast township of Orleans County. 
Anderson, First Chapter of Norwegian Immigration, 78. Rynning's text 
reads "Morri." 

40 The letters of Hovland were a considerable factor in bringing about 
the immigration of 1836-37. Many Norwegians have stated that through 


named Knud Slagvigen, 41 likewise made atrip back to Norway, 
and many persons traveled a long way just to talk with him. 
Thus, America began to be more and more known to peasant 
and commoner in the dioceses of Bergen and Christiansand. 
As a result two ships sailed in 1836 with emigrants from 
Stavanger, and in 1837 one from Bergen and one from 
Stavanger, 42 in addition to many emigrants who went by way 
of Gothenburg or Hamburg. By far the greater number of 
those with whom I have talked so far find themselves well 
satisfied with their new native land. 

3. What in general is the nature of the country, and for what 
reason do so many people go there, and expect to make a 

The United States is a very large country, more than twenty 
times as large as all Norway. The greater part of the land is 
j flat and arable; but, as its extent is so great, there is also' a 

the reading of them they were led to emigrate to America. Langeland 
! saw a copy of one of them, written in New Jersey in 1835, from which 

it appeared that Hovland, together with his family, left Norway on 
I June 24, 1831, and came to New York by way of Gothenburg, arriving 

September 18. Hovland wrote with much enthusiasm of American laws, 
I freedom, and equality, contrasting them with the oppressions of the 

aristocratic classes in Norway. He advised all those who were able to 

do so to come to America. Langeland, Nordmcendene i Amerika, 16, n. 

See also Nilsson in Billed-Magazin, 1 : 74. 

41 The name is usually given as Knud Anderson Slogvig. "Slogvig's 
return may be said to have started the 'America- fever' in Norway, 
though it took some years before it reached the central and the eastern 

| parts of the country." Flom, Norwegian Immigration, 63. "There before 
| them at last, was a man who had twice braved all the terrors of thou- 
sands of miles of sea and hundreds of miles of far-distant land, who 
had come straight and safe from that fabulous vast country, with its 
great broad valleys and prairies, with its strange white men, and stranger 
red men." Babcock, Scandinavian Element, 32. See also Langeland, 
Nordmccndene i Amerika, 17; Anderson, First Chapter of Nonvegian 
Immigration, 147-149; and the narrative of Ole Nattestad as given by 
Nilsson in Billed-Magazin, 1 : 83. 

42 These were the brigs "Nordcn" and "Den Norske Klippe," with 
about two hundred immigrants; the "Enigheden" from Stavanger, with 

i ninety-three passengers; and the "^Egir." Flom, Norwegian Immigration , 
63, 91, 96; Anderson, First Chapter of Norwegian Immigration, 148. 




great difference with respect to the mildness of the weather 
and the fertility of the soil. In the most eastern and northern 
states the climate and soil are not better than in the southern 
part of Norway. In the western states, on the contrary, the 
soil is generally so rich that it produces every kind of grain 
without the use of manure; and in the southern states even 
sugar, rice, tobacco, cotton, and many products which require 
much heat, are grown. 

It is a general belief among the common people in Norway 
that America was well populated a few years ago, and that a 
plague — almost like the black death — has left the country 
desolate of people. As a result they are of the opinion that 
those who emigrate to America will find cultivated farms, 
houses, clothes, and furniture ready for them, everything in 
the condition in which it was left by the former owners. This 
is a false supposition.* When the country was first discovered, 
this part of America was inhabited only by certain savage 
nations that lived by hunting. The old inhabitants were pressed 
back more and more, inasmuch as they would not accustom 
themselves to a regular life and to industry; but as yet the 
greater part of the land has not begun to be cultivated and 
settled by civilized peoples. , 

4. Is it not to be feared that the land will soon be overpopu- 
lated ? Is it true that the government is going to prohibit 
more people from coming? 

It has been stated above that the United States in extent is 

* I will not deny, however, that far back in time the United States may 
have been populated by another and more civilized race than the savage 
Indians who now are commonly regarded as the first inhabitants of the 
country. I have, in fact, seen old burial mounds here, which resemble 
the Norwegian barrows; and Americans have told me that by digging 
in such mounds there have been found both human bones of exceptional 
size, and various weapons and implements of iron, which give evidence 
of a higher civilization than that of the Indians. It is also significant 
that the Indians themselves do not know the origin of these mounds. — 




more than twenty times as large as Norway, and that the 
greater part of the country is not yet under cultivation. If, 
in addition to this, we consider that almost every foot of land 
in the United States is arable, while the greater part of Norway 
^onsists of barren mountains, and that America on account of 
its southern situation is richer than Norway in products for 
human subsistence, then we can without exaggeration conclude 
pat the United States could support more than one hundred 
times as many people as are to be found in all Norway. Now 
it is no doubt a fact that hundreds of thousands of people flock 
there yearly from various other lands of Europe, but neverthe- 
less there is no danger that the land will be filled up in the first 
fifty years. When we were in New York last summer, several 
thousand immigrants from England, Germany, France, and 
other countries arrived daily. Many thoughtful men in our 
company became disheartened thereby, and believed that the 
whole country was going to become filled at once, but they soon 
discovered that this fear was unwarranted. Many did, indeed, 
make their way into the interior with us ; but they became more 
and more scattered, and before we reached Illinois there was 
not a single one of them in our company. 

Before my departure from Norway I heard the rumor that 
the government in the United States was not going to permit 
further immigration. 43 This report is false. The American 
government desires just this, that industrious, active, and moral 
people emigrate to their land, and therefore has issued no 
prohibition in this respect. It is true, however, that the govern- 
ment is anxious to prevent immigrants, upon their arrival in 
this country, from becoming, through begging, a burden to the 

43 This report may have had its source in efforts made in Norway to 
discourage emigration. Langeland writes of a letter issued by the bishop 
of Bergen for this purpose, having as its text : "Remain in the land 
and support thyself honestly." Nordmcendcne i Amcrika, 22. On the other 
'hand, the rumor may have originated in connection with the Native 
American or Know-Nothing movement in the United States. Jeremiah W. 
jjenks and W. Jett Lauck, The Immigration Problem, 295-297 (New 
jYork and London, 1912). 


inhabitants of the seaport towns.* As a matter of fact, a ; 
large number of those who emigrate to America are poor 
people who, when they land, have hardly so much left as to be 
able to buy a meal for themselves and their families. However 
good the prospects for the poor laborer really are in America, 
yet it would be too much to expect that, on the very first day \ 
he steps upon American soil, he should get work, especially in C 
the seaport towns, where so many thousands who are looking \ 
for employment arrive daily. His only recourse, therefore, is \ 
to beg. To prevent this, the government requires the payment ) 
of a tax from every person who lands in America with the ( 
purpose of settlement. With this tax are defrayed the expenses n 
of several poorhouses which have been established for poor i 
immigrants. Those who at once continue their journey farther < 
into the country are required to pay less than those who remain ( 
in the seaport, for the former can more easily find work and 5: 
support themselves. When we landed in New York, the tax c 
there was two and one-half dollars ; but there is a rumor that j 1 
it is going to be raised. At some places the tax is ten dollars. 44 5 

The immigrants of different nations are not equally well 
received by the Americans. From Ireland there comes yearly 
a great rabble, who, because of their tendency to drunkenness, 
their fighting, and their knavery, make themselves commonly 
hated. A respectable Irishman hardly dares acknowledge his ( 
nationality. The Norwegians in general have thus far a good 
reputation for their industry, trustworthiness, and the readiness 
with which the more well-to-do have helped the poor through 
the country. 

* The report seems to have been circulated in Norway that those who 
emigrated from Stavanger in 1836 have been forced to go about in i 
America and beg in order to raise money enough to get back to Norway. 
But so far as I have inquired and heard, this is purely a falsehood. I 
have talked with most of those who came over in 1836, and all seem 
to have been more or less successful. — Rynning. 

44 The New York Times of June 9, 1837, carried the following notice 
regarding the head tax : "His Honor the Mayor, Mr. Clark, has expressed 
his determination to consider all persons coming into this port from 


B. In what part of the country have the Norwegians settled? 
What is the most convenient and cheapest way to reach 
them ? 

Norwegians are to be found scattered about in many places 
in the United States. One may meet a few Norwegians in 
New York, Rochester, Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, and New 
Orleans, yet I know of only four or five places where several 
Norwegians have settled together. 4 5 The first company of 
Norwegian immigrants, as I have already said, settled in ( 1 ) 
Murray Town, Orleans County, New York State, in 1825. 
Only two or three families remain there now; the others have 
moved farther into the country, where they have settled in 

(2) La Salle County, Illinois State, by the Fox River, about 
one and one-half Norwegian miles northeast from the city of 
Ottawa, and eleven or twelve miles west of Chicago. From 
sixteen to twenty families of Norwegians live there. The 
colony was established in 1834. 40 Another settlement is in 

(3) White County, Indiana State, about ten Norwegian miles 
south of Lake Michigan, on the Tippecanoe River. There are 
living in this place as yet only two Norwegians from Drammen, 
who together own upwards of eleven hundred acres of land ; 
but in the vicinity good land still remains unoccupied. 47 A 
number of Norwegians from Stavanger settled in (4) Shelby 
County, Missouri State, in the spring of 1837. I do not know 
how many families live there. 4S A large number of those who 

abroad, as paupers and charge the full amount of tax on them allowed by 
the law, previous to. their landing, viz. $10 per head." 

45 For a list of the Norwegian settlements in 1840, sec Anderson, Firsi 
Chapter of Norwegian Immigration, 364-369. 

46 Reiersen wrote in 1844 that this colony had about six hundred inhab- 
itants, largely from the vicinity of Stavanger and Bergen, most of whom 
had already passed the initial pioneer stage, lived comfortably in good 
houses, and were in an independent position. Veiviser, 152. 

47 Anderson was unable to discover anything further about these two 
Norwegians. First Chapter of Norzvegian Immigration, 368. 

48 This colony, founded by Peerson and Knud and Jacob Slogvig, did 
not thrive. "It was too far removed from other settlers, too far from 
a market; the settlers suffered want and became discouraged. The colony 
was practically broken up in 1840." Flom, Norwegian Immigration . 125. 



Nov. * 

came over last summer settled in (5) Iroquois County, Illinois 
State, on the Beaver and Iroquois rivers. This colony now 
consists of eleven or twelve families. 

Usually the Norwegians prefer to seek a place where they 
can expect to find countrymen ; but it is always difficult to get 
good unoccupied land in the vicinity of those who immigrated 
one or two years earlier. 

6. |What is the nature of the land where the Norwegians have 
settled ? What does good land cost ? What are the prices 
of cattle and of provisions ? How high are wages ? 

In the western states, where all the Norwegian immigrants 
now go, the land is very flat and low. I had imagined that 
thick woods would cover that part of the land which had not yet 
begun to be cleared ; but I found it quite different. One can go 
two or three miles over natural meadows, which are overgrown 
with the most luxuriant grass, without finding a single tree. 
These natural meadows are called prairies. From earliest 
spring until latest fall they are covered with the most diverse 
flowers. Every month they put on a new garb. The most of 
these plants and species of grass are unknown in Norway, or 
are found only here and there in the gardens of distinguished 
people. The prairies are a great boon to the settlers. It costs 
them nothing to pasture their cattle and to gather fodder for 
the winter. In less than two days a capable laborer can cut 
and rake enough fodder for one cow. Still the prairie grass 
is not considered so good as tame hay of timothy and clover. 
The soil on the prairies is usually rich, and free from stones 
and roots. In order to break a field, therefore, only a strong 
plow and four or five yoke of oxen are needed; with these a 
man can plough up one or two acres of prairie a day. Without 
being manured, the soil produces corn, wheat, buckwheat, oats, 
potatoes, turnips, carrots, melons, and other things, that make 
up the produce of the land. Corn is considered the most 
profitable crop, and yields from twelve to twenty-four barrels 


an acre. Oats and a large part of the corn are fed only to 
horses and cattle. As food for people wheat flour is most used. 
Barley and rye grow well in some places, and thrive ; but I have 
not yet seen any of these grains. Barley, like oats, is used only 
for fodder. Beer is not to be found, and most of the milk is 
given to calves and hogs. For breakfast and supper coffee or 
tea is always served, but at other times only cold water is 
drunk. According to the price of beer in Chicago, a barrel 
would cost about twenty dollars. 

It costs nothing to keep hogs in this country. They forage 
for themselves both in winter and summer, though they must 
be fed enough to prevent them, from becoming wild. This 
often happens, however, so that in many places whole droves of 
wild swine may be seen, which are hunted just like other wild 
animals. Since it costs so little to keep swine, it is not infre- 
quent that one man has from fifty to a hundred. For that 
reason, also, pork is eaten at almost every meal. 

It is natural that a country which is so sparsely populated 
should have a great abundance of wild animals. The Indians, 
who were the former inhabitants, lived entirely by hunting. 
If a settler is furnished with a good rifle and knows how to use 
it, he does not have to buy meat the first two years. 49 A good 
rifle costs from fifteen to twenty dollars. The chief wild 
animals are deer, prairie chickens, turkeys, ducks, and wild 
geese. Wild bees are also found. The rivers abound with fish 
and turtles. 

Illinois and the other western states are well adapted for 
fruit culture. Apple trees bear fruit in the fifth or sixth year 
after they are planted from the seed, and the peach tree as 
early as the second or third year. It is a good rule to make 
plans in the very first year for the planting of a fruit garden. 
Young apple trees cost from three to six cents apiece. Of wild 
fruit trees I shall name only the dwarfed hazel, which is seldom 
higher than a man, and the black raspberry, which is found 

49 See ante, 232, n. 22. 




everywhere in abundance. Illinois lacks sufficient forests for 
its extensive prairies. The grass on the prairies burns up every 
year, and thereby hinders the growth of young trees. Prolific 
woods are found only along the rivers. Most of the timber is 
oak; though in some places there are also found ash, elm, 
walnut, linden, poplar, maple, and so forth. The most difficult 
problem is to find trees enough for fencing material. In many 
places, therefore, they have begun to inclose their fields with 
ditches and walls of sod, as well as by planting black locust 
trees, which grow very rapidly and increase greatly by ground 
shoots. Norwegian immigrants ought to take with them some 
seed of the Norwegian birch and fir. For the latter there is 
plenty of sandy and poor soil in certain places. Indiana and 
Missouri are better supplied with forests than Illinois. 

In many places in these states hard coal and salt springs are 
to be found. On the border between Illinois and Wisconsin 
territories there are a great many lead mines which belong to 
the government. Whatever else is found of minerals belongs 
solely to the owner of the ground. Illinois is well supplied with 
good spring water, something which Missouri to some extent 

The summer in Illinois is much warmer than in Norway. 
On some days the heat in Norway may be just as intense as it 
ever is in Illinois or Missouri; but in these states the weather 
is clearer and brighter. It very seldom rains for a whole day 
until the end of summer; but when it does rain the downpour 
is violent and usually accompanied by thunder and lightning. 
The winter lasts from November until the end of March, at 
which time the ground usually begins to grow green. February 
is the coldest month. I have heard many Norwegians declare 
that they have never felt the cold worse in Norway than in 
America. Nevertheless, the cattle are generally kept out of 
doors during the whole winter, and the houses of Americans 
are not much better than a barn in Norway. 

The price of government land has hitherto been $1.25 an 


; acre, whether the land has been of the best kind or of poorer 
quality. The price is now going to be lowered and the land 
divided into three classes according to quality, and the prices 
will be regulated accordingly. Thus, I have heard that for 
land exclusively of the third class, half a dollar an acre will 
be asked. 50 

An acre of land measures about one hundred and four ells 
on each side. 51 Forty acres, which is the smallest portion that 
can be bought from the government, is six hundred and sixty 
ells on each side. A tract of eighty acres is thirteen hundred 
and twenty ells north and south and six hundred and sixty ells 
east and west. If one buys two eighty-acre tracts side by side, 
one has one hundred and sixty acres in a square, and hence 
thirteen hundred and twenty ells on each side. With the 
smallest tracts the marks that are set by the government must 
be followed; but one is permitted to buy, for example, two 
eighty-acre tracts adjoining each other north and south, or 
even some distance apart from each other. An American mile 
is two thousand six hundred and forty ells in length. A section 
is a square which is a mile on each side and which contains 
eight eighty-acre tracts. A town or a township comprises 
thirty-six sections which are arranged as shown in the follow- 
ing figure [page 252]. 

The sixteenth section in each township is always school land 
and is the common property of the township. When, there- 
fore, a township has attained a certain number of settlers, they 

50 Proposals to graduate the price of public lands had been before 
Congress since Benton first introduced his bill in 1824. In Benton's plan, 
changed from time to time in its details, the graduation was based upon 
the length of time the land had been in the market. Other graduation 
measures, notably that of Senator Walker of Mississippi, proposed to 
classify the land according to quality. Up to the time of which Rynning 
writes no plan had secured the approval of Congress. See Raynor G. 
Wellington, The Political and Sectional Influence of the Public Lands, 
1828-1842, pp. 6, 8, 33, 40, 56, 72. 

51 A Norwegian ell is equivalent to two feet. 




can determine by a majority vote the manner in which the 
school land shall be used. 52 







































It can be seen from the figure that a township measures six 
miles on each side. The location of a town or township is 
determined by two numbers, one indicating range and the other, 
township. That is, one begins to measure from a point toward 
north or south, and from another toward east or west. For 
every sixth mile toward north or south there is a new township, 
and for every sixth mile east or west, a new range. 

Where the land has been surveyed by the government, marks 
and numbers for range, township, and section are found in the 
corners of all the sections. When one has found these marks 
for the piece of land which he wishes to buy, he goes to the 
land office, states which piece he wishes to have in the section 
named, pays the price set by the government, and receives 
without special payment his certificate or deed of conveyance. 

52 Rynning is mistaken in his assertion that the township had authority 
to decide how the school land should be used. He probably had in mind 
the provisions of an act regulating the sale of school lands passed by 
the Illinois legislature, January 22, 1829, and amended by the act of 
February 15, 1831, whereby on the petition of three fourths of the white 
male voters of any township containing at least fifty white inhabitants, 
the school commissioner was authorized to sell section sixteen, the 
proceeds of such sales to form a part of the township school fund. Illinois, 
Laws, 1829, pp. 170-174; 1831, pp. 172-176. 


The deed is very simple, as will be seen by the following copy : 

Office of the Receiver, Danville, Illinois 

January 6, 1838 

No. 7885 

Received of Ingbrigt Nielson Bredvig of Iroquois County, 

Illinois, the sunn of fifty dollars - - - - - 

as full payment for N. ,W. h. W. quarter of section number 
14 ______ in township number 27 north ------ of 

range number 13 west - comprising forty 

acres at $1.25 an acre. 


Samuel McRoberts, 53 


When land is purchased from a private individual, who has 
himself bought earlier from the government, the price will be 
from two to thirty dollars an acre. Many swindlers are engaged 
in selling land which they do not own, whereby many strangers 
have been cheated. The surest and cheapest way is to buy from 
the government and curtly dismiss all speculators who, like 
beasts of prey, lie in wait for the stranger. 

The government offers for sale every year only certain tracts. 
A person can nevertheless cultivate and settle upon land which 
has not yet been placed on the market, for such an one has 
the first right to buy it, when it is put up for sale. 54 A piece 

53 McRoberts was receiver of public moneys at the Danville land office 
from 1832 to 1839. Rynning, in copying the deed, read the name as 
Sand. M. Roberts. 

54 Rynning here refers to the privilege allowed settlers under the pre- 
emption act of May 29, 1830, of securing title to lands occupied by them 
previous to their being placed on the market, upon giving satisfactory 
proof of settlement and improvement and upon the payment of the estab- 
lished minimum price of $1.25 an acre. This act, originally passed to be 
in force for one year only, was continued from year to year with slight 
modifications until the passage of the permanent preemption act of 1841. 
Payson J. Treat, The National Land System, 178 5-1820, pp. 383-386 (New 
York, 1910) ; Thomas Donaldson, The Public Domain, 214 (47 Congress, 2 
session, House Miscellaneous Documents, no. 45, part 4 — serial 2158). 




of land acquired in this way is called a claim. To buy a claim 
is, therefore, to secure the right to buy the land from the 
government. Hence a claim is not yet one's property. There 
are many speculators who enrich themselves by taking up 
claims and then selling their claim rights. 

The prices of cattle and of the necessities of life vary most 
widely. At Beaver Creek a fairly good horse costs from fifty 
to one hundred dollars; a yoke of good working oxen from 
fifty to eighty dollars; a lumber wagon from sixty to eighty 
dollars; a milk cow with calf from sixteen to twenty dollars; 
a sheep two or three dollars ; an average-sized pig from six to 
ten dollars; pork from six to ten cents a pound; butter from 
twelve to twenty-four cents a pound; a barrel of the finest 
wheat flour from eight to ten dollars; a barrel of corn meal 
from two and one-half to three dollars; a barrel of potatoes 
one dollar; a pound of coffee twenty cents; a barrel of salt 
five dollars. In Wisconsin Territory the prices of everything 
are two or three times higher. Ten Norwegian miles south of 
us and in Missouri the prices of most things are lower. 

Wages are also very different in different places, and cor- 
respond closely with the prices of other commodities. In this 
vicinity a capable workman can earn from one-half to one 
dollar a day in winter, and almost twice as much in summer. 
Yearly wages are from one hundred and fifty to two hundred 
dollars. A servant girl gets from one to two dollars a week, 
and has no outside work except to milk the cows. In Wis- 
consin Territory daily wages are from three to five dollars ; in 
New Orleans and Texas wages are also very high, but in 
Missouri, again, they are lower. At Beaver Creek we can now 
get men to break prairie for us at two dollars an acre, provided 
that we furnish board. 55 For fencing ten acres with the 

55 In his journal, dated Beaver Creek, Illinois, February 21, 1838, Ole 
Nattestad says that he has had work since October 14, and in four months 
has earned fifty dollars. He also states that he has been offered one 
hundred and ninety dollars a year, together with board "as good as any 
official has in Norway" ; that a workingman can earn from twelve to six- 


simplest kind of fencing we figure on two thousand rails. In 
an average woods a good workman can split a hundred or a 
hundred and fifty rails a day. From one-half to one dollar is 
charged for splitting a hundred rails. Four thousand rails are 
required to fence in forty acres ; and for one hundred and sixty 
acres eight thousand rails are needed, all figuring being based 
upon the simplest kind of fence. 

7. What kind of religion is to be found in America ? Is there 
any kind of order or government in the land, or can 
every one do as he pleases ? 

Among the common people in Norway it was a general 
belief that pure heathenism prevails in America, or, still worse, 
that there is no religion. This is not the case. Every one can 
believe as he wishes, and worship God in the manner which he 
believes to be right, but he must not persecute any one for 
holding another faith. The government takes it for granted 
that a compulsory belief is no belief at all, and that it will be 
best shown who has religion or who has not if there is complete 
religious liberty. 

The Christian religion is the prevailing one in America; 
but on account of the self-conceit and opinionativeness of the 
teachers of religion in minor matters, there are a great many 
sects, which agree, however, in the main points. 56 Thus, one 
hears of Catholics, Protestants, Lutherans, Calvinists, Presby- 
terians, Baptists, Quakers, Methodists, and many others. 
There are also various sects among the Norwegians, but they 
do not as yet have ministers and churches. Every man who 
is somewhat earnest in his belief holds devotional exercises 
in his own home, or else together with his neighbors. 

teen dollars a month in winter, and almost twice as much in summer; 
and a girl can earn from one to two dollars a week if she has some 
knowledge of English. Beskrivelse, 30, 31. See also post, 260. 

56 Nattestad in his Beskrivelse, 28, makes a similar statement : "As 
far as religious sects are concerned, there are many kinds, and I have as 
yet little knowledge of their teachings ; but as far as I understand them, 
they almost all believe in one true God." 




I have already said that the United States has no king. 
Nevertheless, there is always a man who exercises just about 
as much authority as a king. This man is chosen for a term 
of only four years, and is called president. In matters which 
concern all the United States as a whole, the legislative power 
is vested in Congress, which is composed of men who are 
elected by the various states. Each of the separate states 
has its own government, just as Norway and Sweden have, but 
their common Congress, their common language and financial 
system unite them more closely. The number of the states 
in the Union is at present twenty-seven. 

For the comfort of the faint-hearted I can, therefore, declare 
with truth that in America, as in Norway, there are laws, 
government, and authorities. But everything is designed to 
maintain the natural freedom and equality of men. In regard 
to the former, every one is free to engage in whatever honor- 
able occupation he wishes, 57 and to go wherever he wishes 
without having to produce a passport, and without being 
detained by customs officials. Only the real criminal is threat- 
ened with punishment by the law. 

In writings, the sole purpose of which seems to be to find 
something in America which can be criticized, I have read that 
the American is faithless, deceitful, and so forth. I will not 
deny that such folk are to be found in America, as well as in 
other places, and that the stranger can never be too careful; 
but it has been my experience that the American as a general 
rule is easier to get along with than the Norwegian, more 
accommodating, more obliging, more reliable in all things. 
The oldest Norwegian immigrants have assured me of the 
same thing. Since it is so easy to support oneself in an honor- 
able way, thieving and burglary are almost unknown. 

An ugly contrast to this freedom and equality which justly 
constitute the pride of the Americans is the infamous slave 

57 That there were legislative restrictions in Norway as to the occupa- 
tions in which a man might engage is seen from Nattestad's account of 
his experiences as given by Nilsson in Billed-Magazin, 1 : 83. 


traffic, which is tolerated and still flourishes in the southern 
"states. In these states is found a race of black people, with 
wooly hair on their heads, who are called negroes, and who 
are brought here from Africa, which is their native country ; 
these poor beings are bought and sold just as other property, 
and are driven to work with a whip or scourge like horses or 
oxen. If a master whips his slave to death or shoots him 
dead in a rage, he is not looked upon as a murderer. The 
children born of a negress are slaves from birth, even if their 
father is a white man. The slave trade is still permitted in 
Missouri ; but it is strictly forbidden and despised in Indiana, 
Illinois, and Wisconsin Territory. The northern states try in 
every Congress to get the slave trade abolished in the south- 
ern states; but as the latter always oppose these efforts, and 
appeal to their right to settle their internal affairs themselves, 
there will in all likelihood come either a separation between 
the northern and southern states, or else bloody civil disputes. 58 
The taxes in America are very low. I have heard of only 
two kinds of taxes here; namely, land tax and property tax. 
No land tax is paid during the first five years after land has 
been bought from the government. The property tax amounts 
to half a dollar on every hundred one owns in money or in 
chattels. Every man over twenty-one years owes the state 
four days of road work yearly. 

In the event of war every man is bound in duty to bear 
arms for his country. In times of peace there is freedom from 
military service. 

58 Written in 1838, twenty-three years before the outbreak of the Civil 
War, this statement is beyond question one of the most significant in 
Rynning's book. Strong and keen in its analysis of the situation, it must 
have made a deep impression upon the reader in Norway who was con- 
templating emigration, and probably had considerable influence in determin- 
ing the choice of location by immigrants. For a discussion of the attitude 
of the Scandinavian immigrants toward slavery and the effect of this 
attitude on their political affiliations, see Babcock, Scandinavian Element, 




8. What provisions are made for the education of children, 

and for the care of poor people ? 

It has already been pointed out that the sixteenth section 
in every township is reserved as school land, and that the 
inhabitants of the township can themselves determine its use. 
Public education, indeed, is within the reach of all, just as any 
other thing; but it by no means follows that there is, there- 
fore, indifference in regard to the education of the children. 
The American realizes very well what an advantage the edu- 
cated man has over the ignorant, and he spares nothing in 
the instruction and education of his children. Nevertheless, I 
have met some elderly men who could neither read nor write. 
Two schools have now been started among the Norwegians at 
Fox River, where the children learn English; but the Nor- 
wegian language seems to be destined to die out with the 
parents. At least, the children do not learn to read Norwegian. 
At Beaver Creek no school is yet established, but most of the 
children who are old enough are taken into American homes, 
where their instruction is usually well cared for. 59 

In this state I have not yet seen a beggar. The able-bodied 
man is in no danger of poverty or need. By an excellent 
system of poor relief care is taken of those who are really 
needy. If a widow is left in straitened circumstances, the 
children are not taken away from the mother and made parish 
paupers as in Norway; but generous help is given to the 
mother for the support of both herself and her children, and 
for the schooling of the latter. 60 

9. What language is spoken in America? Is it difficult to 

learn ? 

Since so many people stream into the United States from the 
European countries, one must expect to find just as many dif- 

59 See also Reiersen's account of the schools in the Norwegian settle- 
ments. Veiviser, 153, 155. 

60 Reiersen made an investigation of the economic conditions in the 
Norwegian settlements, the results of which he summarizes in pages 
158-163 of his Veiviser. 


ferent languages in use. But the English language predomi- 
nates everywhere. Ignorance of the language is, to be sure, 
a handicap for Norwegian immigrants. It is felt especially 
on the trip to the interior of the country, if there is no one in 
the party who understands English. But by daily association 
with Americans one will learn enough in two or three months 
to get along well. Some half-grown children who came over 
last summer already speak very good English. Before having 
learned the language fairly well, one must not expect to receive 
so large daily or yearly wages as the native-born Americans. 

10. Is there considerable danger from disease in America? Is 
there reason to fear wild animals and the Indians ? 

I shall not conceal the fact that the unaccustomed climate 
usually causes some kind of sickness among new settlers during 
the first year. Diarrhoea, or the ague, afflicts almost every 
one ; but if a regular diet is observed, these sicknesses are 
seldom dangerous, and Nature helps herself best without medi- 
cine. The ague seldom returns unless one has attempted to 
drive it away by quack medical treatment. 

There are no dangerous beasts of prey in this part of the 
country. The prairie wolf is not larger than a fox; but still 
it is harmful to the extent that it often destroys pigs, lambs, 
and chickens. Snakes are numerous, but small ; and few of 
them are poisonous. 61 The most poisonous kind is the rattle- 
snake; but even that is not nearly so venomous as many in 
Norway believe. I know two instances of persons being bitten 
by rattlesnakes, and in both cases the patients were cured by 
simple household remedies. Everywhere that the rattlesnake 
is to be found, a kind of grass grows which is usually regarded 

61 Among the many rumors concerning America which were circulated 
in Norway, possibly with the express purpose of checking emigration, was 
the one that there existed great danger from poisonous snakes. For a 
typical statement setting forth the perils to be encountered in the new 
world, among which "poisonous snakes" are especially mentioned, see the 
narrative of Gullik K. Laugen, an emigrant from Numcdal in 1839, as 
given by Nilsson in Billed-Magaziu, 1 : 171. 




as the best antidote for its bite. One of the earliest Norwegians 
here has told me that he was once bitten by a rattlesnake, and 
that he found the application of dry camphor to be the most 
efficacious remedy for relieving the swelling. 

The Indians have now been transported away from this 
part of the country far to the west. Nowhere in Illinois is 
there any longer danger from assault by them. Besides, these 
people are very good-natured, and never begin hostilities when 
they are not affronted. They never harm the Quakers, whom 
they call Father Penn's children. 62 

11. For what kind of people is it advisable to emigrate to 
America, and for whom is it not advisable? — Caution 
against unreasonable expectations. 

From all that I have experienced so far, the industrious 
Norwegian peasant or mechanic, as well as the good trades- 
man, can soon earn enough here to provide sufficient means 
for a livelihood. I have already spoken of the price of gov- 
ernment land, and I shall merely add that I know several 
bachelors who have saved two hundred dollars clear within a 
year's time by ordinary labor. Blacksmiths are everywhere in 
demand. A smith who understands his trade can feel assured 
that his neighbors, in whatever place he settles, will help him 
build his house and smithy, and will even lend him enough 
money to furnish himself with bellows and tools. Two dollars 
or more is charged here for shoeing a horse; a dollar for an 
iron wedge ; a dollar for a hay fork ; and so forth. Competent 
tailors can also command a steady and good income, and like- 
wise the shoemaker ; but the latter will have to learn his trade 
anew, for here the soles of the shoes are pegged instead of 
being sewed. Turners, carpenters, and wagon-makers can also 
make a good living from their trades. An itinerant trader 

62 Laugen includes also the "yet more dangerous Indians" in his list. 
Nilsson in Billed-Magazin, 1 : 171. Rynning's reference to Quakers is 
possibly added for the purpose of reassuring the Norwegian members of 
this sect. 


who is quick and of good habits can become a rich man within 
a short time, but he must not be afraid to undergo hardships 
and to camp outdoors night after night. Servant girls can 
easily secure work, and find good places. Women are respected 
and honored far more than is the case among common people 
in Norway. So far as I know, only two or three Norwegian 
girls have been married to Americans, and I do not believe 
that they have made particularly good matches. But there are 
many Norwegian bachelors who would prefer to marry Nor- 
wegian girls if they could. 

Those desiring to emigrate to America should also carefully 
consider whether they have sufficient means to pay their ex- 
penses. I would not advise any one to go who, when he lands 
upon American soil, does not have at least several dollars in 
his possession. I believe that young people who have enough 
to pay their passage from New York to Rochester are in a 
position to emigrate. That will require about four or five 
dollars. Those who have large families should have enough 
left to pay their way directly to Illinois, where land is cheap 
and where plenty of work can be secured at high wages. 
Expenses for each adult from Norway to Illinois must be 
figured at about sixty dollars, in addition to expenses for board 
across the sea. On Norwegian ships the cost of the passage 
is just as much for children as for adults. It can be estimated, 
therefore, that forty-five dollars in all will be spent for chil- 
dren between two and twelve years old, and thirty dollars for 
children under two years. 63 Those who do not have enough 
to pay their way can hire out to some one who is in better 
circumstances, and pledge themselves to work for him, for 
example, three years for fifty dollars a year. This will be to 
the mutual advantage of both parties. He who thus proposes 

63 See post, 265. According to Flom "the price of passage ranged 
between 33 and 50 speciedaler, that is between $25.00 and $38.00." Nor- 
wegian Immigration, 223-225. See also Langeland, Nordmccndcnc 
Amerika, 25 ; Nilsson in Billed-Magazin, 1 : 7, 94, 388. 




to pay the traveling expenses of others must see to it that he 
does not pay out so much as to be embarrassed himself, and 
that he does not take with him bad or incapable people. An 
employee who has come to America through such an arrange- 
ment ought to compare his pay and prospects here with what 
he had in Norway, and thereby be induced to fulfill the engage- 
ment upon which he has entered, for he is held by no other 
bond than that of his own integrity. 64 

People whom I do not advise to go to America are (1) 
drunkards, who' will be detested, and will soon perish miser- 
ably; 65 (2) those who neither can work nor have sufficient 
money to carry on a business, for which purpose, however, 
an individual does not need more than four or five hundred 
dollars. Of the professional classes doctors and druggists are 
most likely to find employment ; but I do not advise even such 
persons to go unless they understand at least how to use oxen, 
or have learned a trade, for example, that of a tailor. 

Many go to America with such unreasonable expectations 
and ideas that they necessarily must find themselves disap- 
pointed. The first stumbling block, ignorance of the language, 
is enough to dishearten many at once. The person who neither 
can nor will work must never expect that riches and luxurious 
living will be open to him. No, in America one gets nothing 
without work ; but it is true that by work one can expect some 
day to achieve better circumstances. Many of the newcomers 
have been shocked by the wretched huts which are the first 
dwellings of the settlers; but those good people should con- 
sider that when they move into an uncultivated land they can 
not find houses ready for them. Before the land has been put 
into such shape that it can support a man, it is hardly wise to 
put money into costly living-houses. 

64 See post, 264. 

65 Nattestad also in his journal tells of warnings against the evils of 
intemperance which are everywhere preached in America, and of the 
low esteem in which men who drink to excess are held. Beskrivelse, 28. 


12. ,What particular dangers is one likely to encounter on the 
ocean? Is it true that those who are brought to 
America are sold as slaves? 

Many regard the trip across the ocean as so terribly danger- 
ous that this one apprehension alone is enough to confine them 
forever to their native country. Of course, solid ground is 
safer than the sea; but people commonly imagine the dangers 
to be greater than they are. So far as I know, no ship with 
Norwegian emigrants for America has yet been wrecked. 
Even with a good ship, an able captain, and capable, orderly, 
and careful seamen, the passenger has to trust in the Lord. 
He can guide you securely across the stormy sea, and He can 
find you in your safe home, whenever His hour has come ! 

Two things about the sea voyage are very disagreeable; 
namely, seasickness and tediousness. I do not think there is 
any unfailing remedy for seasickness, but it is not a fatal 
illness. Small children suffer the least from it; women, espe- 
cially middle-aged wives, often suffer considerably. The only 
alleviating remedy I know of is a good supply of a variety of 
food. I have noted particularly that barley gruel flavored with 
wine is frequently strengthening and helpful. It is well to pre- 
pare against tediousness by taking along good books, and 
something with which to occupy oneself. For this purpose I 
advise taking along harpoons and other fishing tackle as well. 

A silly rumor was believed by many in Norway; namely, 
that those who wished to emigrate to America were taken to 
Turkey and sold as slaves. 66 This rumor is absolutely ground- 

66 That such rumors were current is confirmed in accounts by other 
immigrants, given by Nilsson in Billed-Magacin, 1:83, 226, 388. Follow- 
ing the receipt of letters from those who had emigrated to America and 
the distribution throughout Norway of the printed narratives of Rynning, 
Nattestad, and Reiersen, the fears aroused in the simple-minded peasants 
by these ridiculous reports were gradually dissipated. By no means all 
the Norwegian immigrants, however, were worried by these stories of 
slavery. Gitle Danielson, for example, who came over in 1839, on hearing 
that there was danger of being taken to the south into slavery, is 
reported to have said: "Norwegians or Scandinavians in general are 




less. It is true, however, that many who have not been able 
themselves to pay for their passage, have come only in this 
way: they have sold themselves or their service for a certain 
number of years to some man here in this country. Many 
are said thereby to have fallen into bad hands, and to have 
been treated no better than slaves. No Norwegian, so far as 
I know, has fallen into such circumstances,* nor is that to be 
feared if one crosses by Norwegian ships, and with his own 
countrymen. 67 

13. Guiding advice for those who wish to go to America. 

When persons wish to emigrate to America singly, they can 
not expect to chance upon opportunity for sailing directly from 
Norway, inasmuch as this country has no commerce with the 
United States. They must go, therefore, either to Gothen- 
burg,! Sweden, Bremen, Germany, or Havre, France. From 
all these places there is frequent opportunity to secure passage 

* All Norwegians who have been in America for a considerable length 
of time and who have been respectable and industrious, have fared well. 
Many have come over by an arrangement whereby other Norwegians have 
paid for them, but have nevertheless been fully as much their own mas- 
ters. After a short time they have usually worked out their debt. — 

f Some bachelors from Numedal went last summer from Gothenburg 
to Newport, Rhode Island. They spent only thirty-two days in crossing 
the ocean, and praise their Captain Ronneberg highly. — Rynning. 

These immigrants were the Nattestad brothers and their companions, 
the account of whose voyage is given by Ole Nattestad in his Beskriv- 
else, 11. 

not the kind of people of which to make slaves. I have never heard 
of any Scandinavians ever being slaves to a foreign race. . . . That 
we, the sons of the brave and hardy Northmen, can be enslaved alive 
by an open and visible enemy, is incredible ! The slave owners do not 
want us to go down south, for they know we would talk of freedom 
and justice to the slaves and in time produce a change of opinion." 
Quoted by John E. Molee in Anderson, First Chapter of Norwegian 
Immigration, 311. 

67 For an early example of a wealthy Norwegian paying the passage 
of many of his poorer countrymen, see Nilsson in Billed-Magazin, 1 : 388. 


, to the United States, and the fare is usually less than from 
Norway. But when several wish to emigrate at the same 
time, I should rather advise them to go on Norwegian ships 
and with Norwegian seamen, because they will feel safer. 
For the same reason it is also best to go with a captain who 
has previously been in America ; for example, Captain Behrens 
of Bergen, whom I can recommend as an able man, or one 
of the captains who have conveyed passengers from Stavanger 
to New York. 

When several wish to emigrate together, they must apply 
to a broker in the nearest seaport, who will help them to bar- 
gain for the cheapest fare. They must investigate carefully 
whether the ship is a good sailing vessel and in good condi- 
tion. With reference to the bargain it may be remarked that 
the fare on Norwegian ships has hitherto been thirty dollars, 
for children as well as adults. From the ports of other coun- 
tries the fare for adults is generally less, sometimes only 
twenty dollars; and for children under twelve years either half 
of that or nothing. 

The charter, or the written contract, ought to be as precise 
and detailed as possible. It ought to be written both in Eng- 
lish and Norwegian. I shall name some particular provisions 
that ought not to be omitted: (a) The captain (or the own- 
ers) are to supply wood and water for twelve weeks. The 
water is to be provided in good casks, so that it will not spoil, 
and three quarts are to be measured out to each passenger 
daily. If the water in some casks is spoiled, the good water 
is to be used up before beginning with the bad, and the captain 
shall take water for his own use from the same barrel as the 
passengers, (b) The passengers, indeed, must supply them- 
selves with provisions, but the captain shall see to it that 
every one takes with him sufficient provisions for twelve weeks. 
The passengers must also furnish their own light, (c) For 
the sum agreed upon the captain shall land the passengers at 
the destination determined upon without any additional 




expense to them,* either under the name of landing money, 
quarantine money, corporation money, gratuities, or the like, 
(d) The fare is to be paid in advance and a receipt given 
which is written both in English and Norwegian. If the 
captain on his own risk takes along any one who has not paid 
in full the sum agreed upon, then he has no further right to 
demand more as soon as he has taken the passenger and his 
baggage aboard. (The last provision is a safeguard against 
having the captain take aboard any one who, on account of 
his poverty, will either become a burden to the rest or else be 
given up to the arbitrariness of the captain.) 

I should advise every one who goes to America to exchange 
his money for silver and gold, and not take a draft. Spanish 
piasters are worth as much as American dollars, but five 
French francs are six cents less. In an American dollar there 
are one hundred cents, and each cent is equivalent to a Nor- 
wegian shilling. There are tAvelve pence or twelve and one- 
half cents in a shilling. In America there are silver coins 
which are worth one half, one fourth, one eighth, one tenth, 
one sixteenth, and one twentieth of a dollar. The smallest 
coin current in Illinois equals six and one-fourth cents. All 
kinds of silver or gold coins are accepted in America; Nor- 
wegian silver coins, indeed, that are less than half a dollar, 
are disposed of with considerable profit. 

The best time to leave Norway is so early in the spring as 
to be able to reach the place of settlement by midsummer or 
shortly after that time. In that way something can be raised 
even the first year ; namely, buckwheat, which is planted in the 
last days of June ; turnips, which are planted in the latter part 
of July; and potatoes. It is very unfortunate to go too late 

*This provision is very necessary; for otherwise an unscrupulous 
captain, under one pretext or another, might demand an additional sum 
from his passengers and, by virtue of his authority and because of their 
ignorance and unfamiliarity with the language, might force them to 
pay it. — Rynning. 


in the year to gather fodder for one or two cows, and build a 
' house for the winter. 

Hitherto the Norwegian immigrants have always sought 
passage to New York. From there to Chicago the least expen- 
sive way is to go by steamer up the Hudson River to Albany ; 
from Albany to Buffalo by canal boat, which is drawn by 
horses; from Buffalo by steamer over Lakes Erie, St. Clair, 
Huron, and Michigan, to Chicago. From here the route goes 
by land, either south to Beaver Creek, or west to Fox River. 
From New York to Buffalo one can get transportation for from 
three to four dollars with baggage, and from Buffalo to 
Chicago for from nine to twelve dollars. From Chicago to 
Beaver Creek drivers from Wabash usually ask one dollar for 
every hundred pounds. Every contract with the steamboat 
companies or drivers should be written, and with the greatest 
particularity, if one does not wish to be cheated. To be on the 
safe side one should figure that it will take about thirty dollars 
for every adult from New York to Beaver Creek or Fox River. 
For children between two and twelve years of age half of that 
is always paid, and nothing for children under two years or 
who are still carried in arms. The route mentioned from New 
York to Beaver Creek I compute to be about two hundred and 
fifty Norwegian miles. 

One of our party who arrived last fall did not take the steam- 
boat from Buffalo any farther than to Toledo on Lake Erie. 
Here he bought a horse and wagon, and conveyed his luggage 
to Beaver Creek himself. In this way he and his family trav- 
eled to their destination somewhat cheaply, but they were also 
a good deal longer on the way than those who took the steam- 

For those who wish to go to Missouri,* unquestionably the 
quickest and cheapest route is by way of New Orleans. But it 

* According to the assurance of Kleng Peerson, who knows the coun- 
try best, and who from the beginning has been the guide of the Nor- 
wegians, Missouri is the state where it is now most advisable for immi- 
grants to go. They must then go first to St. Louis on the Mississippi, 




must be noted in this connection ( 1 ) that one can seldom go to 
New Orleans except in ships which are sheathed with copper, 
and (2) that New Orleans is very unhealthful and insalubrious, 
except from the beginning of December until April. But this 
is the worst time of the year to be without houses — which is 
the usual fate of settlers. 

Those who wish to emigrate to America ought to take with 
them (a) bedclothes, fur, and clothing of wadmol, 68 as well as 
stamped wadmol; (b) a baxtehelle® 9 a spinning wheel, and, 
if possible, a hand mill, silverware, and some tobacco pipes to 
sell; (c) tools, if one is a mechanic; (d) some good rifles with 
percussion locks, partly for personal use, partly for sale. I 
have already said that in America a good rifle costs from fifteen 
to twenty dollars. 

The provisions for the voyage should include a supply of 
every kind of food which can be kept a long time without being 
spoiled; such as pork, dried meat, salted meat, dried herring, 
smoked herring, dried fish, butter, cheese, primost, 70 milk, beer, 
flour, peas, cereals, potatoes, rye rusks, coffee, tea, sugar, pots, 
pans, and kettles. It is best to take along into the interior what- 
ever is not used on the ocean voyage, since no charge is made 
for carrying provisions on steam and canal boats. 

For medicinal purposes one should bring (a) a little brandy, 
vinegar, and . a couple of bottles of wine, as well as raisins and 
prunes to make soup for the seasick; (b) a cathartic for con- 
stipation, which often occurs on the ocean (this medicine 
should not be used unless badly needed) ; (c) sulphur powder 

from there to Marion City, and from there to "the Norwegian settle- 
ment on North River, Shelby County." — Rynning. 

Marion City was at this time a small settlement of some three hun- 
dred inhabitants, situated on the Mississippi about twelve miles above 
the site of Hannibal, Missouri. Its unfavorable location on the low 
bottom lands hindered its development, and it was never incorporated. 

68 A coarse hairy woolen cloth similar to f reize. 

69 A round iron plate used by Norwegians in baking fladbrfid (flat- 

70 A cheese made from skim milk. 


# and ointment for the itch (directions must be secured from the 
druggist or from a physician as to how to use this medicine) ; 
(d) Hoffman's drops and spirits of camphor. 

For purposes of cleanliness it is necessary to take (a) linen 
for change, (b) salt-water soap for washing, and (c) a good 
fine comb. 

Again I must advise every one to provide something with 
which to employ himself on the voyage, as fishing tackle, 
thread for knitting fish-nets, and other similar articles. 

It is a good thing if the immigrants can have a dependable 
guide and interpreter on the trip from New York to the interior. 
For those who wish to leave next spring,* there is a good 
opportunity to go with Ansten Knudsen Nattestad from 
Rolloug parish in Numedal, who is now on a trip back to Nor- 

* Namely in the spring of 1839.— Rynning. 


Economic History of Wisconsin during the Civil War Decade 
( State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Studies, vol. 1 ) . By 
Frederick Merk. (Madison, the society, 1916. 414 p.) 

The trend away from an exclusively political point of view 
in historical studies has resulted in numerous economic and social 
histories during the past years. By far the larger portion, how- 
ever, have been general works, most of them of a textbook 
character; these, while valuable, need to be supplemented by 
more detailed studies, which must necessarily limit themselves to 
a definite period or to a particular region or to both. Of this 
latter class is the volume at hand. 

While the center of the stage is occupied by Wisconsin in 
war times, there is no arbitrary bound ; and in tracing the various 
lines of economic development, a sufficient leeway is allowed on 
either side to present a well-rounded view. So, for instance, 
when lumbering is under consideration, a brief survey of ante- 
bellum conditions is given ; and, as some of the points require an 
extension of the treatment beyond 1870 to set forth the results 
of what happened during and immediately after the war, the 
story continues to a logical stopping-place. 

The first eight chapters trace the development of agriculture, 
lumbering, mining, manufacturing, labor, banking, and trade. 
Then follow five chapters, the central theme of which is the 
railroad; the disastrous railroad farm mortgage with its accom- 
panying evils is set forth as a basis for understanding the general 
attitude of Wisconsin people toward overland transportation in 
war times. Railroad construction, followed by the inevitable con- 
solidation of numerous short lines, brought in its train the strug- 
gle between the carriers with monopolistic tendencies and a 
people seeking to free themselves from the burdens of excessive 
rates, corrupting proclivities, and discrimination in service. The 
"Antimonopoly Revolt" presents an excellent summary of the 
movement which foreshadowed the period of Granger activity of 
the seventies, while the "Genesis of Railroad Regulation" outlines 





, the earlier steps in curbing those instrumentalities which entered 
so vitally into the daily life of every person in the state. The 
two remaining chapters discuss the "Commerce of the Upper 
Mississippi" and "Commerce of the Great Lakes." In the first 
is brought out the rapid extension of the river traffic during the 
early sixties, and the even more precipitous decline during the 
latter half of the decade, when the railroads, at first looked upon 
as feeders for water transportation, throttled the picturesque life 
which Mark Twain has immortalized. 

The materials used by Mr. Merk are to a large extent found 
in local newspapers, the details from which have been checked 
and supplemented by the use of local histories, official and trade 
reports, and, to a limited degree, of manuscripts. Probably no 
source material is harder to deal with than these, yet Mr. Merk 
has woven from them not only an illuminating narrative but a 
most readable book. 

While the work deals primarily with Wisconsin, nevertheless, 
as the author remarks in his preface, "in all its important aspects 
her economic life reflected that of the states adjoining her borders. 
Agriculturally her development found its counterpart in Minne- 
sota and Iowa ; her lumber industry repeated that of Michigan 
and Minnesota; her lead mining was a duplication of what 
obtained about Galena and Dubuque. . . . Upon the Missis- 
sippi, La Crosse occupied a commercial position similar to those 
of St. Paul and Dunleith. . . . The account . . . therefore, 
typifies the history of the larger economic unit — the area later 
known as the Granger Northwest — of which Wisconsin was but 
a part." Not only, then, does this study of the economic develop- 
ment of Wisconsin throw light upon early conditions in Minne- 
sota, for example, in lumbering, in the labor situation, in trade 
relations, in railroad expansion, but it serves as a model for 
similar works which may cover approximately the same period 
in neighboring commonwealths. 

To a considerable measure the book is a pioneer. To be sure 
E. D. Fite's Social and Industrial Conditions in the North durum 
the Civil War deals with many of the same topics for a shorter 
period over a much greater area, but Fite necessarily paints with 
a larger brush and has to make his strokes broad and sweeping. 




Mr. Merk has demonstrated that there is an almost limitless field 
for studies similar to his, each of which will bring out those 
factors which, taken together, will allow a more accurate reading 
of our national progress. It is to be hoped that many will follow 
his example, not alone because of the opportunities it suggests, 
but also on account of its intrinsic merits as a sound study of a 
difficult subject, carefully arranged, logically developed, and 
highly interesting in its presentation. 

Lester Burrell Shippee 

The Life of James J. Hill. By Joseph Gilpin Pyle. In two 
volumes. (Garden City and New York, Doubleday, Page, 
and Company, 1917. 498, 459 p. Illustrated) 

Those who find their history in the biographies of the great 
will not look to the lives of presidents and politicians for a 
record of American development since the Civil War. They 
will look rather to the lives of those "captains of industry" whose 
clearness of vision made them leaders in the national task of 
developing a continent, and despots, benevolent or otherwise, in 
the modern business world. James J. Hill was one of these 
makers of modern America. It was no mere coincidence that 
he and the future Lord Strathcona, each driving a dog team, 
should meet for the first time on the far western prairies, one 
hundred and forty miles from the nearest house. Each of them 
had an imagination, described by Mr. Pyle as "tropical," which 
gave him an insight into the future of the West. Each had the 
ability — the genius — to lay foundations for the castles of his 
dreams. It is a favorite task of biographers to analyze this thing 
called "genius." Mr. Pyle is not a bad psychologist. He delights 
to show the ability of his hero to make the facts of the past and 
present cast light upon the future, to grasp and retain unlimited 
detail, to work incessantly without breaking, to wait as patiently 
as he labored for the favorable moment, to be honest, broad- 
minded, patriotic through it all. But granting that these things 
for the most part are true, the reader grows a bit weary of their 
endless repetition, and can but reflect that in another age our 
author would have been an able contributor to the Acta Sanc- 




The author's fondness for character analysis does not alter 
the fact that these two volumes are a substantial addition to our 
knowledge of transportation development in the Northwest, and 
are distinctly worth while. Mr. Pyle has drawn freely upon the 
letters and papers of Mr. Hill, and has supplemented this infor- 
mation by means of private conversations with him and with his 
associates, by careful examination of the numerous court records 
which have opened so freely the archives of great corporations, 
by a first-hand acquaintance with newspaper files, and with such 
an historical background as the professional journalist is wont to 
acquire. He has traced with painstaking care and accuracy the 
stages by which the Hill interests grew from an idea into the 
gigantic system which they now are. His superior sources of 
information and his industry in using them enable him to shed 
new light all along the way. In view of the real merit of his 
work we can afford to bear with him while he argues for the 
benefit of a past generation that the consolidations of which he 
treats were not the outgrowth of "some Machiavellian scheme," 
but the result rather of the "irresistible forces of railway evolu- 
tion." Admitted. But if these same "irresistible forces" should 
move on through federal control to ultimate government owner- 
ship, we shall hope that Mr. Hill was not correct in predicting 
as a result "the end of this country as a free and democratic 
government" (2:280). 

It is remarkable in a work upon which obviously so few pains 
have been spared that there should be no maps to guide the 
reader through the maze of railway constructions and connec- 
tions so constantly alluded to. But the facility with which Mr. 
Pyle handles twentieth-century English does much to overcome 
this difficulty. It is not easy to thread one's way through "the 
tangled web" of railway finance, but the author's statements are 
never obscure. Occasionally his figures of speech are a bit 
rampant, but they are usually effective ; as, for example, when he 
describes the Hill system as "a giant cornucopia whose body 
extends from the Great Lakes to the Ohio River, contracts as 
it stretches west and northwest, and pours its contents through 
the relatively narrow orifice of Puget Sound and Portland" 
(2: 57). His use of the English method of spelling such words 
as "favour," "labour," and "honour" contrasts somewhat oddly 




with the screaming Americanisms which appear on every page. 
But he commands attention. Possibly if professional historians 
would cultivate a more interesting style, their services as author- 
ized biographers would be more in demand. Until such a time 
it ill becomes them to criticize too freely a work which they will 
have frequent occasion to use. 

John D. Hicks 

Fourth Street. By A. J. Russell. (47-49 Fourth Street, Min- 
neapolis, 1917. 127 p.) 

It seems safe to predict that in time, when it has become 
scarce in the market, this little book will be highly prized and 
sought by collectors. No such work as this has appeared before, 
at least in Minnesota. It gives the history of a Minneapolis 
street long sacred to the profession of journalism, from the time 
when "the mighty river of the geological periods eddied and 
swirled" there until now, when it is solidly built up with business 
blocks and its pavements are trodden daily by thousands of busy 

"Russ," as the author of Fourth Street is familiarly known, is 
the "Long Bow" man of the Minneapolis Journal. He was once 
Bill Nye's double in personal appearance and possessed a far 
finer and more delicate humor than that of the famous platform 
mate of James Whitcomb Riley and Eugene Field. His style 
is a delightful blending of Lamb, Hood, and Douglas Jerrold. 
As is the case with the choicest humor, his writings are not 
wanting in touches of pathos now and then, that mellow yet 
accentuate the merriment of cap and bells. 

Probably no publication except a series of city directories con- 
tains the names of so large a number of people well known 
locally, especially newspaper men, as this little volume. No 
journalist of any prominence who was ever connected with the 
Minneapolis press is omitted. The author revives most pleasantly 
our recollections of James Gray, Martin Williams, Ed. Atter- 
bury, "Fannie" Francis, Ed. Henderson, Abbott Blunt, Stiles 
Jones, Frank Wing, "Bart," "Larry Ho" Hodgson, Colonel 
Haskell, Horace Hudson, "Doc" Bowman, Edward A. Bromley, 
the first regular newspaper staff photographer in the United 




States, Adolph Edsten, Smith B. Hall, J. Newton Nind, Joseph 
T. Mannix, Luther B. Little, Winthrop Chamberlain, \Y. A. 
Frisbie, Fred Hunt, Dr. Storrs, and many more. 

The book covers in most detail the thirty-two years which 
have passed since "Russ," just out of Bowdoin College, trans- 
ferred his lares and penates to the Flour City and began the 
newspaper work in which he was destined to outshine all others 
with his inexhaustible fund of spontaneous humor. There arc 
numerous laughable anecdotes and reminiscences and a pathetic 
love story of a bachelor — a pioneer and one of the richest men 
of the city — who was reconciled on his deathbed with his fiancee, 
from whom he had been estranged for many years. Fourth 
Street is a book that every Minnesotan should read ; it will not 
soon be superseded by one of greater interest. 

John Talman 


The stated meeting of the executive council, October 15, 1917, 
was open to the public and was attended by about forty members 
of the society and others. Dr. John D. Hicks, professor of 
history in Hamline University, read a timely paper on "Raising 
the Army in 1861," in which he drew largely upon the experience 
of Minnesota as typical of the North as a whole. The paper 
will be published in a later issue of the Bulletin. 

The following new members, all active, have been enrolled 
during the quarter ending October 31, 1917: Myron D. Taylor 
of St. Paul; Dr. Thomas S. Roberts of Minneapolis; Clarence 
L. Atwood of St. Cloud ; Wilfred J. Whitefield of Sauk Center ; 
Clarence E. Oakley of Buffalo ; Godfrey C. Goodwin of Cam- 
bridge; Conrad Peterson of St. Peter; Miss Hannah Greer of 
Elk River; Rev. John H. Morley of Montevideo; David Peterson 
of Roseau ; and Dr. B. M. Randall of Graceville. Deaths among 
the members during the same period were as follows: Hon. 
Elwood S. Corser of Minneapolis, August 30, and General 
William G. Le Due of Hastings, October 30. 

The death of General Le Due removes one of the last two 
survivors of the 123 original members of the society. For years 
he was a most faithful member of the council, making the trip 
from Hastings to St. Paul in order to attend its meetings. The 
society was represented at the funeral by the president, the first 
vice-president, and the secretary, who acted as honorary pall- 
bearers. It is expected that a biographical sketch of General 
Le Due will be published in a later issue of the Bulletin. 

On October 9 the superintendent spoke before the Minnesota 
Library Association on the subject of "Historical Preparedness." 
The librarians were urged to collect and preserve everything 
which may be of value in the future as material for the history 
of the participation of the community or the state in the Great 
War. The address will be published in the December issue of 





( the Library Notes and Nezvs of the Minnesota Public Library 


A large collection of printed and manuscript material has 
been received from Mrs. Hale, the widow of Major William D. 
Hale of Minneapolis, who was well known as a Civil War 
veteran, a former postmaster, a business associate of Hon. 
William D. Washburn, and, in general, a prominent figure in 
the commercial, political, religious, and educational life of his 
city and of the state. The printed material includes over one 
hundred Minnesota items, in the form of histories, memorials, 
addresses, pamphlets, atlases, directories, and publications of 
local institutions and organizations, a considerable portion of 
which are not duplicated in the library. The manuscript material 
includes Major Hale's account books and papers as receiver for 
the American Savings and Loan Association, 1896-1901, and a 
few records of other business firms, such as W. D. Washburn 
and Company, the Washburn Mill Company, and the Minneapolis 
Transfer and Terminal Railway Company. There are also letters 
received by Major Hale and miscellaneous papers which, from a 
cursory examination, may be assigned to the period from 1868 
to 1894. Of the letters, about two hundred were written by 
William D. Washburn while in Washington as representative, 
and later as senator, from Minnesota. Among papers reminis- 
cent of Civil War days is a document labeled "Original Enlist- 
ment Agreement of Co. A, 3d Minn. Vol. Infty, 1861." 

From Mrs. Harry T. Morris, formerly of St. Paul and now of 
Detroit, Michigan, the society has received a number of large 
oil paintings and a collection of old photographs which were 
left by the late John A. Weide of St. Paul, a relative of Mrs. 
Morris by marriage. The paintings, which were done by Mr. 
Weide, represent, separately, some of the more battle-torn and 
service-worn of the Civil War flags which now repose in the 
rotunda of the state capitol, as these were in 1895. According 
to a document which accompanies them, the paintings embody 
the partial fulfilment of a purpose, apparently originated by Mr. 
Weide and commended by leading Minnesotans, whereby he was 




to portray "in imperishable colors the glorious 'Battle Flags of 
Minnesota' . . . before rapidly approaching Time shall leave 
but their dust as a memento of their former lustre." The photo- 
graphs include two enlargements of old pictures of Fort Snelling 
and a very large number of excellent pictures of persons. Most 
of the latter apparently were taken at the studio of Dr. A. 
Falkenshield of St. Paul and were accumulated by Mr. Weide in 
the course of his work as an artist and a tinter of photographs. 
Few of them bear inscriptions, but among those which are labeled 
or have already been identified are photographs of men prominent 
in Minnesota history, such as William Morrison, George L. 
Becker, Charles Scheffer, Joseph A. Wheelock, General H. P. 
Van Cleve, and A. L. Larpenteur. The collection as a whole 
belongs to the period of the fifties, sixties, and seventies, and 
even without identification of persons it is invaluable as illustra- 
tive of the photographic art and of the costumes of the period. 
A photograph of Mr. Weide, taken in 1911, is included in the 

What may prove to be one of the most valuable additions to 
the manuscript collections of the society during the year con- 
sists of two boxes and a trunk full of papers donated by Samuel 
J. Brown of Browns Valley, son of the well-known pioneer, 
Joseph R. Brown. The boxes have not been opened yet and the 
material can not possibly be arranged until the society is installed 
in the new building. From the hasty examination made by the 
society's field agent while packing the collection, it appears that 
papers of both father and son are included, among the items 
noted being a letter-press book of Joseph R. Brown and a census 
of Indians taken in 1864. 

The society has received from Mr. Frederick W. Pearsall of 
Granite Falls a few pages from the daybook kept by a trader at 
the Santee Indian Agency, Nebraska, during August and Septem- 
ber, 1884. The book is of interest to Minnesotans because sev- 
eral of the names entered are those of Indians connected with 
the history of the state or their descendants. After the Sioux 
outbreak of 1862 many of the Indians were taken to the Crow 
Creek reservation in Dakota, where they lived until 1866, when 
all the Minnesota Sioux were taken to the Santee agency. Rev. 




A. L. Riggs, son of Stephen R. Riggs, the Minnesota missionary, 
"and Antoine J. Campbell, a half-breed scout and interpreter, who 
was a United States employee for years, also are entered as 
patrons of the trader's store. 

Mrs. E. O. Zimmerman, who last year turned over to the 
society a stock of about twelve hundred pamphlets on archeologi- 
cal subjects by Alfred J. Hill and T. H. Lewis, which were left 
in her possession at the death of Mr. Hill, has recently donated 
another lot of about twenty-four hundred copies of the same 
pamphlets. This material will be useful in the exchange depart- 
ment of the library. Mrs. Zimmerman at the same time pre- 
sented eight photographs formerly belonging to Mr. Hill, being 
pictures of Mr. and Mrs. Archibald McElrath and their small 
son, Mr. W. W. Rich, Major and Mrs. Howard Stansbury, and 
Lieutenant Lawrence Taliaferro, all taken during the sixties ; 
also a picture of Mr. Warren Upham taken about 1883. 

From the Minnesota Railroad and Warehouse Commission, 
through the courtesy of Mr. D. F. Jurgenson, engineer, the 
society has received eight folders of blue prints consisting of 
"Analyses of construction history and gratuities received by vari- 
ous railroad construction entities" in the state. These analyses 
will be helpful to students of the history of railroad transporta- 

A bundle of manuscripts consisting of poll lists and other 
election material for the city of St. Paul has been turned over 
to the society by Mr. George F. Herrold of the department of 
public works of St. Paul. An especially interesting part of this 
collection consists of envelopes used for the ballots of voters 
in the army during the Civil War. 

Mrs. Jane M. Black of Minneapolis, widow of Captain Mahlon 
Black, has presented a number of books and magazines from 
the library of her husband, and also a sword, a belt, a pistol, 
and a gun, used by Captain Black in the Civil War. The sword 
is said to have been captured from a rebel officer, who had 
presumably taken it from a union officer. 

Mr. Rome G. Brown of Minneapolis has presented a collection 
of about seventy-five pamphlets consisting of his writings on 


the subjects of constitutional government, water rights and water 
power, minimum wage, price maintenance, and uniform state 
laws. A copy of his book, The Minimum Wage (Minneapolis, 
1914. 98, xxv p.), is included in the donation. 

Miss Julie C. Gauthier, a St. Paul artist, has presented a 
portrait of "Pony," which she painted in 1883. "Pony," a little 
mulatto who earned a living as a woodcutter, was one of the 
picturesque figures to be seen on the streets of St. Paul a genera- 
tion ago. 

An iron spectacle case inscribed "Presented to George Wash- 
ington, By Mother, Aug. 10 th , 1777," has been presented by 
Frank J. Wilder of Boston, Massachusetts. Accompanying this 
gift is a sworn and certified statement by Josephine Voorhees 
Wilder giving an account of the way in which the case came 
into her possession. 

Mr. Edward A. Bromley has presented a photograph of Fari- 
bault in the early sixties. It is an enlargement from the original 
negative made by B. F. Upton of St. Anthony Falls in 1862 or 

A set of twenty-one of the original Brady Civil War photo- 
graphs has been presented by Mr. C. G. Landon of Minneapolis.. 
The scenes are mostly of Yorktown and vicinity. 

Among the books and pamphlets, mostly of recent publication, 
received as gifts from the authors or publishers during the last 
three months are the following: A History of the Ball Family, 
by L. A. Bradley, from Joseph M. Andreini of New York; 
America's Attitude toward the War, from the publisher, the 
Bankers' Trust Company of New York; Flower Lore and 
Legend, from the author, Mrs. Katherine M. Beals, of St.. Paul ; 
The War and Humanity, from the author, James M. Beck of 
New York; A Brief Sketch of the Life and Times and Mis- 
cellaneous Writings of Rev. J. Copeland and Copeland Genealogy, 
from the compiler of the latter, Charles Finney Copeland of 
Holdrege, Nebraska; Fifth Avenue; Glances at the Vicissitudes 
and Romance of a World-Renowned Thoroughfare and Fifth 
Avenue Events, from the publisher, the Fifth Avenue Bank of 



New York; The Genealogy of the Fox Family, from the com- 
piler, William A. Fox of Glencoe, Illinois; A - Wonder [id Fifty 
Years, from the author, Edwin T. Holmes of New York ; 
Banking and Currency and the Money Trust and Why Is Your 
Country at War and What Happens to You a[ter the War, from 
the author, Hon. Charles A. Lindbergh of Little Falls, Minnesota ; 
Rural Life in Litchfield County, by Charles Shepherd Phelps, 
from the publisher, the Litchfield County University Club of 
Norfolk, Connecticut; The English Ancestry of Peter Talbot, 
from the author, Mrs. Cyrus P. Walker of San Francisco; 
Whip pie -Wright and Allied Families, from the author, General 
Charles H. Whipple of Los Angeles; and The Fambly Album, 
from the artist and author, Frank Wing of St. Paul. 


The papers presented in the Proceedings of the Wisconsin 
Historical Society at its sixty-fourth annual meeting, October 
19, 1916 (1917. 363 p.), include, among others: "President 
Lincoln as War Statesman," by Captain Arthur L. Conger; 
"Reminiscences of a Pioneer Missionary," by Father Chrysostom 
A. Verwyst; and "The Beginnings of the Norwegian Press in 
America," by Albert O. Barton. The volume contains also the 
usual report of the executive committee recounting the activities 
of the society during the year and discussing plans for the future. 

"The Origin of the Various Names of the Mississippi River" 
is the title of a brief article by T. P. Thompson in volume 9 of 
the Publications of the Louisiana Historical Society (1917. 
134 p.). The volume consists of proceedings and reports for 

The presidential address at the last meeting of the Mississippi 
Valley Historical Association, "The Rise of Sport," by Frederic 
L. Paxson, is printed in the Mississippi Valley Historical Review 
for September. This issue contains also the annual review of 
"Historical Activities in Canada," by Lawrence J. Burpee. 

The Wisconsin Historical Society has recently received from 
the daughter of one of its founders a bequest of property valued 
at about twenty-five thousand dollars. The income is to be 
"devoted to the editing of materials for middle-western history, 
preferably that of Wisconsin itself." 

The 1917 issue of Acta et Dicta, the serial published by the 
Catholic Historical Society of St. Paul, contains valuable con- 
tributions to the history of Minnesota and the Northwest. Arch- 
bishop Ireland's life of Bishop Cretin is continued from the 
1916 number, carrying the narrative to the year 1838, when the 
subject left France for America. "A Chapter of Catholic 
Colonization," by William J. Onahan, deals with the work of 
the Irish Catholic Colonization Association of the United States, 
including the establishment of colonies in and around Adrian 





in Nobles County and Currie in Murray County, Minnesota. An 
article on the "Titular Bishops of the Province of St. Paul" is 
contributed by Rev. J. A. Bigaouette ; and Rev. James M. Rear- 
don sketches the career of the late "Father Lacombe, the Black- 
Robe Voyageur," who served as a missionary to the Indians at 
Pembina and in the Canadian Northwest from 1849 on. The 
section devoted to documents contains an interesting and impor- 
tant description of the customs of the Indians, particularly the 
Ojibways of the Lake Superior region, in the shape of a lecture 
delivered by Bishop Baraga at Cincinnati in 1863. This is con- 
tributed by Rev. J. L. Zaplotnik, who also furnishes biographical 
data about the bishop. The "Letters of Bishop Loras, 1832 and 
1836," included in this section, are preceded by an account of the 
materials relating to him in the society's collection. Considerable 
biographical information is presented under the headings "Con- 
temporary Items" and "Obituary Notices," and other sections 
discuss the work of the society and announce some of its recent 
acquisitions. Especially noteworthy among the latter is the 
library of Auguste L. Larpenteur "containing many books and 
papers of unusual historical value." 

The increasing realization of the importance of state history 
and of the desirability of fostering a more general interest in it 
is evidenced by the birth in 1917 of five quarterlies published 
by the historical societies of New York, Louisiana, Georgia, 
Michigan, and Wisconsin. The latest to appear is the Wisconsin 
Magazine of History, the first number of which is dated Septem- 
ber, 1917. The articles in this issue are: "Increase Allen Lap- 
ham, First Scholar of Wisconsin," by Milo M. Quaife; "A 
Forest Fire in Northern Wisconsin," by John L. Bracklin ; and 
"Banker's Aid in 1861-62," by Louise P. Kellogg. These are 
followed by sections devoted to "Documents," "Historical Frag- 
ments," "Editorials," "Question Box," and "Survey of His- 
torical Activities." 

The October number of the Michigan History Magazine con- 
tains an article on "Government Survey and Charting of the 
Great Lakes from the Beginning of the Work in 1841 to the 
Present," by John Fitzgibbon. 




The September issue of the History Teacher's Magazine con- 
tains a very useful "List of Historical Novels, Illustrating Some 
Phases of Economic or Social Development in American His- 
tory," compiled by Professor E. L. Bogart of the University of 

The History of Lewis Township, Clay County, Indiana, will 
be welcomed as a suggestion for historical work in the schools. 
It was written by the teachers and pupils of the Lewis Township 
schools during the year 1915-16 and published in 1916 (Brazil, 
Indiana. 109 p.). The Coalmont High School students and 
faculty prepared several chapters on the geology of the township, 
its history and pioneer life, while the elementary schools supplied 
sketches of their districts and biographies of pioneers. The 
pamphlet is illustrated with pictures of local landmarks and con- 
tains a geological map. 

The journal kept by Thoreau during his travels in Minnesota 
in 1861 is of interest to nature lovers as well as to historians. 
Extensive extracts from this journal have been incorporated by 
Franklin B. Sanborn into his Life of Henry David Thoreau 
(New York, 1917. xx, 542 p.). In 1905 the Bibliophile Society 
of Boston published this journal as a part of The First and Last 
Journeys of Thoreau, but, as the edition was small and printed 
for the members only, it has not been accessible to the ordinary 
reader. Mr. Sanborn has reprinted nearly all of the entries of 
general interest, omitting chiefly Thoreau's scientific notes. 

The Minnesota State Federation of Labor Year Book for 1917 
contains a sketch of the early phases of the "Minnesota Labor 
Movement." Such organizations as the Knights of Labor, the 
Eight Hour League, the St. Paul Trades and Labor Assembly, 
the State Federation of Labor, and various trades unions are dis- 
cussed. In general the period covered is that from 1880 to 1900. 

The insurance department of Minnesota has published an 
attractive brochure containing a history of the department, bio- 
graphical sketches of former commissioners, and descriptive mat- 
ter about Minnesota and the Twin Cities. It is designated as 
the "Convention Number" of the department's Bulletin [number 




82], and contains the program of the National Convention of 
"insurance Commissioners, held at St. Paul, August 28-31. 

The history of the inception and develcpment of the St. Paul 
Institute is recounted at some length in its Eighth Y 'ear-Book 
for 1915-16 (156 p.). 

In commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the founding 
of Wahkon, the business men of the city have recently published 
an illustrated booklet containing historical and descriptive mat- 
ter (18 p.). 

"Water Power Development on the Mississippi above Saint 
Paul" is the title of an article by Ralph D. Thomas in the Sep- 
tember Bulletin of the affiliated engineers' societies of Minne- 
sota. The author, who is assistant engineer of the St. Anthony 
Falls Water Power Company, treats the subject from both his- 
torical and engineering viewpoints. The geologic formation at 
the Falls of St. Anthony and the methods which have been used 
to conserve and direct the energy of the river for water-power 
purposes are described, and there is some discussion of the men 
and companies that have been most active in the field. 

Rev. John P. Williamson, whose death occurred at the Yank- 
ton Agency, South Dakota, October 5, was born in 1835 at Lac 
Qui Parle, where his father, Dr. Thomas S. Williamson, had 
established a mission among the Sioux Indians. After the out- 
break of 1862 he continued his father's work among the Indians, 
who had been removed to Nebraska and South Dakota. 

"Sioux Historic Trail" is the name adopted for the proposed 
highway to connect points of historical interest between Traverse 
des Sioux and Browns Valley. At a meeting of the promoters 
held in conjunction with the Fort Ridgely celebration of August 
22 it was decided to mark the trail with three nine-inch stripes on 
the telephone poles, red in the center and white outside, the 
whole to be surmounted by a stenciled Indian head. A commit- 
tee was appointed to locate the route definitely. The expectation 
is that it will lead up the Minnesota from St. Peter, through 
Traverse des Sioux, Fort Ridgely, Ramsey Park, and Granite 
Falls to Lac Qui Parle, then over the old Fort Gary trail to 




Browns Valley. In the Minneapolis Tribune of August 19 Eliz- 
abeth McCleod Jones describes for tourists the places of histori- 
cal interest along this route. 

Nearly eight thousand people gathered in the Fort Ridgely 
State Park on August 22 to celebrate the fifty-fifth anniversary 
of the battle of Fort Ridgely. Although national patriotism was 
the dominant note in the day's program, the speeches of Thomas 
Hughes and Lorin Cray of Mankato contained material of local 
historical interest. Mr. Hughes sketched the history of the fort, 
while Judge Cray, who took part in the suppression of the Sioux 
outbreak, gave his reminiscences. The two addresses with some 
account of the celebration are printed in the August 22 issue of 
the Mankato Free Press. 

An event of historic interest is the annual banquet given to 
the old settlers by the Junior Pioneers of New Ulm to celebrate 
the anniversary of the coming of the first settlers in 1854. Only 
two members of the original group are now living, Peter Mack 
of Milford and Mrs. Hembsch of St. Paul. Mr. Mack was an 
honored guest at the banquet for 1917, which was held October 7. 

On August 25 the boiler of the steamboat "Otter" was placed 
in Turner Park, New Ulm, as a memorial of early steam naviga- 
tion on the Minnesota. This is all that remains of Captain Jacob 
Hinderman's boat, which plied western waterways from 1855 to 
1879. The New Ulm Review of August 29 contains an account 
of the ceremonies and an historical sketch of the "Otter" by 
Captain Hinderman. 

Thursday evening, September 27, was home-coming night at 
the Rice County fair in Northfield, and a large portion of the 
program was devoted to speeches recalling incidents of frontier 
life. An exhibit of souvenirs of pioneer days interested many of 
the visitors. 

The following old settlers' associations have held annual meet- 
ings during the past three months: Luverne Pioneer Girls at 
Luverne, July 26; Marshall County Old Settlers' Association at 
Lundin's grove, near Stephen, July 28; Cass County Pioneers' 
Association at Hackensack, July 28 ; Hennepin County Territorial 




Pioneers and Old Settlers' Association at Bederwood Temple, 
Wayzata, August 16; Itasca County Old Settlers' Association al 
Pokegama Lake, September 3 ; and St. Croix Valley Old Set- 
tlers' Association at the Sawyer House, Stillwater, September 19. 
The Olmsted County pioneers organized an association on "Old 
Settlers' Day," which was observed September 1 1 at the Olmsted 
County fair. 

In connection with a plea for local support of Minnesota 
waterways Captain George H. Hazzard tells in the Winona 
Re public an-H er aid of September 1 of the development of trans- 
portation in Minnesota during the eighties. Captain Hazzard 
came to Minnesota in 1856 and spent several years on the river 
boats as cabin boy and clerk; later he represented various rail- 
road and transportation interests. He is, therefore, well able to 
furnish authoritative information on this subject. The article is 
reprinted in the September 8 issue of the Saturday Evening Post 
(Burlington, Iowa). 

Miss Pauline Colby is the author of some delightful "Retro- 
spections" that have appeared in recent numbers of the Pine 
Knot, a magazine published by the patients of the state sanitorium 
at Walker. Some twenty-five years ago Miss Colby went to the 
Leech Lake mission to teach lace-making to the Chippewa women. 
The class was one of the first of several opened through the influ- 
ence of Miss Sybil Carter, whose success in establishing this 
industry among the Indian women and girls is now well known. 
The "Retrospections" are written in the form of letters to an 
eastern friend acquainting her with the people and life of the 

The St. Paul Daily News for August 26 quotes at length from 
Marcus L. Hansen's "Old Fort Snelling" in an article entitled 
"Stories of 'Old Fort Snelling' Indian Fights Are Told by Iowa 
Historian." Another article in the same issue treats of Fort 
Snelling as the "Scene of U. S. Military Moves Since 1805." 

In the Minneapolis Ugebladet of August 16 appears a descrip- 
tive article on Meeker County containing references to early Dan- 
ish pioneers and present Danish-Americans who live in Litch- 
field and its vicinity. The Danish immigrants have not been 




numerous, although some of them came to the country as early 
as the fifties. 

A list of the Watonwan County pioneers with the dates of 
their arrivals, compiled by O. T. Holslin, is printed in the 
Madelia Times Messenger of October 19. A brief "School His- 
tory" of Madelia accompanies the list. 

Students of Scandinavian-American history will be inter- 
ested in the account of the celebration of the seventieth anniver- 
sary of the founding of the Nordlyset published in the Northfield 
American of August 3. The Nordlyset, a Free Soil paper, 
appeared in 1847 at Norway, Wisconsin, and was the first Nor- 
wegian paper published in America. Its founder, Hans Christian 
Heg, was especially honored in the commemorative services held 
at Muskego, Wisconsin, July 29, under the auspices of the 
Ygdrasil Literary Society of Madison. 

In the Willmar Journal of October 20 the editor, C. F. Spencer, 
tells his recollections of the early struggles of the Valley Ven- 
tilator, a paper established at Montevideo by C. W. Wheaton in 
1876. Later it became the Montevideo Leader, which was recently 
consolidated with two other papers to form the Montevideo News. 

A history of the Stillwater Messenger with some account of 
the founder's family is printed in a sixty-first anniversary edition 
of that paper, which was published October 3. When the founder, 
Captain A. J. Van Vorhees, came to Minnesota in 1855, he selected 
Stillwater as a suitable town in which to establish a Republican 
paper. The first issue is dated September 11, 1856. 

The sixtieth anniversary of the establishing of the Red Wing 
Republican was the occasion of an historical sketch of that paper 
which appeared in the September 5 issue. 

The Roseau Times-Region of October 5 contains an interesting 
description of a Chippewa-Sioux battle which is said to have 
taken place in 1857 near Two Rivers, Roseau County. The 
account is based on the story told by a Chippewa survivor twenty 
years ago and is reprinted from a contemparory issue of the same 




The issues of the Winona Republican-H crald for August 18 
and 25 contain sketches by William Jay Whipple entitled "In the 
Primitive Days of 1852." The writer's own experiences furnish 
the material for his description of "log-raisings" and other activ- 
ities of pioneer days. 

"Arm Chair Cogitations" is the title of an article on the history 
of the state fair grounds which appears in the Hay field Herald 
of September 13. The writer tells how the grounds came to be 
located in St. Paul. 

A list of "First Things in St. Paul" may be found in the Aug- 
ust 26 issue of the St. Paul Daily News. Similar lists for Still- 
water are printed in the Stillwater Gazette of October 17 and 
October 24. 

A series of sketches of Cottonwood County men is being pub- 
lished by the Cottonwood County Citizen in "Our Biographical 
Department." Mr. Carl H. Ruhberg is the author. 

Some reminiscences by David T. Adams appear in the Duluth 
Herald of September 24 under the title "Pioneer of Mesaba 
Range Tells Story of Early Days." Mr. Adams discusses his 
part in the discovery of iron ore in the Mesaba hills and the sub- 
sequent mine development in that range. 

An article entitled "Ramsey State Park Is Beauty Spot" in 
the Minneapolis Tribune of April 26 deals with some phases of 
the history of Redwood Falls and vicinity. The author is Eliza- 
beth McCleod Jones. 

A letter from H. H. Davis, published in the Sherburne County 
Star News (Elk River) of August 30, tells of early log drives 
and points out something of their significance in the economic 
development of Minnesota. 

A reminiscent article in the Clay County Leader of October 19 
tells of the Granger and Farmers' Alliance movements in Clay 

Some interesting incidents of pioneer life are related by 
Mrs. Helen Varney in the Anoka County Union of August 22. 




The Caledonia Journal of August 8 reprints Carl Becker's 
article on "The Monroe Doctrine and the War" from the May 
number of the Minnesota History Bulletin. 

The Saturday Evening Post of Burlington, Iowa, continues to 
publish valuable historical material on early river transportation. 
The section headed "The Old River Boats" contains letters from 
Samuel R. Van Sant, Fred A. Bill, and John Mahin of Chicago, 
August 18; a list of boats that went to Stillwater and St. Croix 
Falls, by Captain J. W. Darrah, September 15; and two articles 
by Fred A. Bill: "History of the Steamer Dubuque," October 6; 
and a biographical sketch of the late Rufus D. Button, clerk on 
the steamers of the Davidson line from 1866 to 1873, October 13. 
An autobiography of William Cairncross, entitled "Life on the 
Main Deck," is published in thirteen installments, beginning Aug- 
ust 4. The author's career as a riverman dates back to 1847 and 
includes extensive experience in the navigation of the Mississippi 
and its tributaries. 

A number of church societies have recently held services to 
commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of their organization, and 
in connection with accounts of these celebrations several papers 
have published historical notes regarding the churches. The 
Willmar Tribune of September 5 sketches the history of the 
Vinje Norwegian Lutheran Church, which celebrated its semicen- 
tennial September 2. The Mankato Daily Review of September 
17 prints pictures of several early pastors in connection with its 
account of the anniversary services of the Immanuel Lutheran 
Church of Mankato. On October 28 the Congregational society 
of Rochester marked the completion of the fiftieth year of its 
history by dedicating a new church building. Commemorative 
services were held by the members of the Anoka Universalist 
Church, September 12, and by the German Lutheran Church of 
St. Peter, September 23. An account of a twenty-fifth anniver- 
sary service, together with a sketch of the congregation of the 
St. Paul's German Lutheran Church of South St. Paul, is pub- 
lished in the St. Paul Tdgliche Volkszeitung of September 3. 

Several contributions to the history of the Sioux War of 1862 
are to be found in recent newspaper articles. The New Ulm 




Review of September 19 reprints an account of the first day's 
battle at New Ulm, published originally in a contemporary issue 
of the St. Peter Tribune. An editorial note accompanying the 
article explains that it was copied by Mrs. Gideon S. Ives from 
the scrapbook of her father, Governor Swift, who had endorsed 
on the margin, "Aug. 19, 1862. Battle of first day, before help 
came. True." The Review prints, also, two reminiscent accounts 
of these events : One, appearing August 22, is furnished by 
R. H. Henman of the Morton Indian Agency School, who bases 
his narrative on the story told him by one of the Indian partici- 
pants, Hackita-Wakanda ; the other, in the issue of October 24, 
is an account, contributed by Luther C. Ives, of the organization 
and activities of the Leavenworth Company composed of men 
from Milford, Sigel, and Leavenworth townships. The part 
taken in the uprising by Company F, Ninth Minnesota, is told in 
the Rochester Daily Post and Record of August 22 under the title 
"Fort Ridgely Times Recalled." Charles Culver, who partici- 
pated in the war as a drummer boy in Company B, Fifth Minne- 
sota, gives his recollections in the Mankato Review of August 28. 


Vol. 2, No. 5 
Whole No. 13 
February, 1918 


With unaffected diffidence I appear before you to-night in 
response to your invitation to deliver for the historical society 
an address in memory of James J. Hill. The compliment is 
deeply appreciated by me, however sincerely I may doubt my 
ability to rise to this high occasion, and to the level of that 
unique greatness which is its subject. Mr. Hill's extraordinary 
qualities and the diversity and excellence of his work must 
create in any one who attempts to appreciate them in words a 
deep humility. It is, none the less, our fitting part to pay such 
tribute as we may, to retrace, admire, and, in so far as we can, 
appropriate a life that is literally part of the world's history. 
We are especially proud because that life is written for all time 
in the annals of the Northwest and of Minnesota. By his con- 
nection with all the history of this state, by his just title of 
"empire builder" of the Northwest, by his long association 
with this society and his interest in it, as by the closer tie to 
those who were privileged to call him friend, he belongs to 
Minnesota, to the Minnesota Historical Society, to us. It is, 
therefore, most natural that the society should consecrate form- 
ally a session to his memory; and that at least an outline sketch 
should be placed in its record of a life so full, so varied, so 
preeminent by its characteristics and accomplishments that 
the most deliberate and exhaustive treatment must still be 
incomplete. To me personally it comes as a highly appreciated 
honor to speak to you to-night of Mr. Hill. Inadequate as 
I am. to such a task, I feel that the subject itself and your 
interest in it will supplement many deficiencies, and also that 
something will be pardoned to an admiration so great and an 
affection so deep and sincere as my own. 

1 A memorial address read at the annual meeting of the Minnesota 
Historical Society, St. Paul, January 15, 1917. 





The important facts of the life of Mr. Hill are already 
almost as familiar to the public as his face. James Jerome Hill 
was born near Guelph, in the county of Wellington, Ontario, 
of mixed Irish and Scotch lineage, September 16, 1838. He 
was the third of four children. From both sides of his ancestry 
he inherited salient characteristics, though there was nothing 
on either to prophesy the distinction that he was to attain. 
A studious boy, as fond of books and reading as of play, he 
grew up in an environment that contributed to sturdiness of 
mind and body. He was educated first in the district school; 
then went to an academy at Rockwood, where a Quaker 
instructor, William Wetherald, seems to have done him valuable 
service in directing his reading and the course of his thought. 
When he was fourteen years old his father died and his formal 
education was broken off in order that, to help the family 
through, he might work in a village store. By the time that 
his assistance was no longer indispensable, he was eager to 
start in pursuit of a project as wild as any dream of romance. 
He had set his thought on the creation of new systems of 
transportation on the rivers of the Orient, to which his read- 
ing, especially Plutarch's Lives that he devoured, had led and 
his fancy beckoned him. He could reach those fabled shores 
by going as a sailor from some Pacific American port. The 
homes of schoolmates from the western wilds of Canada, as 
they were then considered and really were, would be his half- 
way house. But to reach these he must come to St. Paul, take 
the Red River trail north to Fort Garry, and thence strike 
west across the plains with one of the Hudson's Bay Company 
expeditions. He had to work his passage; and he reached 
St. Paul, by way of Chicago and the Mississippi River, July 21, 
1856, only to find that the last Red River brigade had left a 
short time before. He was marooned here until the first one 
should go out in the following spring. 

St. Paul had then between four and five thousand people. 
The "Northwest," as the term is understood now, did not 
exist. All communication with the outside world was by river 




steamboats ; but there was a flourishing- trade, and people kept 
coming in fast. Business of considerable volume was carried on 
with the settlers in the river valleys and with the people about 
Fort Garry, now Winnipeg. The levee was the community 
center of life and activity, and there young Hill found employ- 
ment. He became shipping clerk for J. W. Bass and Company, 
agents for the Dubuque and St. Paul Packet Company; for 
their successors, Brunson, Lewis, and White; and after three 
years went to Temple and Beaupre, and later engaged with 
Borup and Champlin, agents for the Galena Packet Company 
and the Davidson line of steamboats. These were years full 
of growth. The wine of life was red; the frontier is a stern 
but effective teacher; and James J. Hill mastered the condi- 
tions about him and the details of the transportation business 
as it was then carried on. He read and studied constantly. 
He assimilated every fact of the day's experience. He had his 
office on the levee, and he saw the first wheat shipped out of 
Minnesota and cut the stencil to mark the first barrels of flour 
that went out of Minneapolis. Many details of this early 
time, interesting in their connection with the city, the state, 
and the man, were given by him in an address delivered before 
this society in 1897 and printed in its Collections. 2 He shared 
in all the early life of St. Paul, and before many years became, 
by provident industry and economy, one of its well-established 
and promising citizens. An accident in youth which deprived 
him of the sight of one eye prevented him from serving in the 
Civil War. He had studied Minnesota traffic with the thor- 
oughness that he brought to every subject worthy of his atten- 
tion, and by the spring of 1865 he was ready to go into busi- 
ness on his own account as agent of the Northwestern Packet 
Company, then a big river concern. 

In 1867 came the marriage to Miss Mary Theresa Mehe- 
gan, a St. Paul girl, from which dated his lifelong happiness 
and a great part of his ability to face with confident strength 

2 Minnesota Historical Collections, 8: 275-290. 




the world and the problems it brought. No man has paid a 
more delicate and convincing tribute than he did on many occa- 
sions to the domestic life that freed him and nerved him for the 
struggle. In all these years over which we must pass so rapidly, 
the chroniclers show him a busy, public-spirited, prosperous cit- 
izen of St. Paul. He was interested in everything, from trot- 
ting horses to local politics. He believed in the country. He 
was loyal to the town. If the word "booster" had been in the 
vocabulary of those days, it would have been applied first of all 
to Mr. Hill. He was now growing to be one of the solid citi- 
zens of St. Paul. He engaged in a general commission and 
forwarding business. He put up his big warehouse on the old 
levee. In 1866 he took a contract to handle freight for the St. 
Paul and Pacific Railroad. And thus he entered a new field 
which was to influence powerfully his future. A great share 
of the business of St. Paul was carried on with the settlements 
in Canada near old Fort Garry. The Hudson's Bay Company, 
and the free traders in spite of it, engaged in this profitable 
commerce. In 1863 Mr. Hill had begun to handle a part of it 
for Norman W. Kittson, and became more and more interested. 
He was by this time a wonderfully well-informed man. His 
constant reading, his really marvelous memory, and his habit of 
minutely accurate observation were making him an authority. 
His indefatigable industry had given him business repute and 
laid the foundation of a modest fortune. He was an expert on 
fuel, and knew the coal measures of the Northwest as perhaps 
no other man has. He entered into one partnership after 
another, as his developing interests and his grasp of the local 
situation seemed to advise. The gross earnings of his firm, 
Hill, Griggs and Company, about 1869, were running from 
forty to sixty-five thousand dollars a year, a big sum for those 
days in St. Paul. The Northwestern Fuel Company of St. Paul 
is the direct successor to his fuel interest and his old firm. 

It was the transportation business, in new forms and with 
new possibilities, that claimed him now. It had created and 
sustained the life of early days on the levee. The coming of 




• the railroad inspired him first with a true sense of the ultimate 
value and supremacy of the land carrier. But up in the North, 
where as yet there was no prospect of rail carriage, the Red 
River trade absorbed his present attention. Familiar with the 
volume and profits of this Red River business, he now went into 
it on a more generous scale. By 1870 he was immersed in that 
interest, and by 1871 had a through freight and passenger line 
so well established that Mr. Kittson was glad to join forces 
with him. The frequent trips that he made in these days over 
the trails and outside the trails, often through dangers and with 
adventures that he loved to recall, gave him something worth 
more than his profits : that knowledge of the value of the north- 
western country for settlement and cultivation, that vision of its 
near future, on which afterward he staked everything, and 
which kept him sanguine always because he had founded his 
faith on a certainty. It was on one of these trips by dog sled 
between St. Paul and Fort Garry that he met, in 1870, on the 
snow-covered prairie, Donald A. Smith, whose fortunes were to 
be associated so intimately with his own. 

It is impossible to rehearse here the long and unhappy history 
of early railroad projects in Minnesota. The St. Paul and 
Pacific was a successor of the Minnesota and Pacific, with both 
of which were connected many of the names still best known 
as contributing to the early history of St. Paul. Mr. Hill knew 
well this property, which went into bankruptcy in the general 
crash of 1873. Besides its valuable terminals and partly fin- 
ished lines, it was heir to the Red River Valley country. Dur- 
ing the next five years he became obsessed with the idea of 
obtaining control of it. In the old St. Paul Club House, as a 
friend of both of them said, he "bored it into Kittson with a 
threatening forefinger" ; and P. H. Kelly complained one lan- 
guid morning because "that Hill had kept him up all night talk- 
ing railroads.' ' He talked of it to any one who would listen, 
and all thought him mad. But Mr. Smith, deep in Canadian 
political life, felt it imperative to get a rail outlet from Winni- 
peg to the East. The future of the Dominion Confederation, as 




well as his own, hung upon it. Until the far-future day of a 
Canadian Pacific through line, it could be had only by building 
from Winnipeg to the boundary, and then rounding out the pro- 
jected St. Paul and Pacific system on this side of the line. 
Finally, after plans, advances, reverses, and labors, whose his- 
tory constitutes in itself a thrilling romance, Mr. Hill, in con- 
nection with Mr. Kittson, Mr. Smith, and Mr. George Stephen 
of the Bank of Montreal, came into possession of the long- 
desired property. They secured it by buying its defaulted bonds 
from the Dutch committee which represented the majority of 
them, held in Holland, putting up everything they had in the 
world to bind the bargain, and agreeing to make future pay- 
ments and to perform miracles in the way of construction which 
would have daunted any spirit less sure of itself or less confi- 
dent than that of Mr. Hill. When General Sibley afterward 
asked Mr. Kittson, his close friend, why he had kept all this 
from his knowledge, he said, "I did not dare to tell you because 
you would have thought that I was mad." In 1878 the agree- 
ment with the bondholders was signed ; and in 1879 the impos- 
sible conditions had been performed, and the St. Paul, Minne- 
apolis, and Manitoba Railway Company was organized. 

It is from this time that the real man becomes fully visible. 
For the complete display of his powers an adequate field was 
needed. He had never had it before. As general manager and, 
from 1882 onward, as president, he showed what he could do. 
Here began the series of financial plans and methods which 
started with putting the new company on a basis that made its 
securities acceptable in the most conservative markets by paying 
sure dividends, and ended with Mr. Hill as a trusted counselor 
of the great nations of the world. Even to those who thought 
they knew him best one surprise after another came as they saw 
him prove himself a master in railroad construction, in traffic 
getting, in operation, in financing. It was universal genius in 
action. But it was also, as he himself said in later years, "work, 
work, work, and then some more work." Nothing escaped his 
eye, nothing was forgotten, and nothing neglected. Even those 




who felt the dynamic energy of Mr. Hill in his great enter- 
prises of a later day find it difficult to realize how he was able 
at this time to carry so many burdens, to master so many differ- 
ent kinds of activity, to unite unremitting labor every day and 
nearly every night in the year with a level judgment and pre- 
science, constantly occupied with the future, which were both 
among the most distinguished features of his wonderful natural 

His dream realized by the completion of the railroad system, 
now firmly under his control to the coveted Winnipeg connec- 
tion at the international boundary, by the occupation of the Red 
River Valley and the finishing of the Alexandria line, with set- 
tlers pouring in and business surpassing all expectations, he 
seemed inspired to more furious energy rather than to the relax- 
ation which is generally held to be one of the rewards and priv- 
ileges of success. His own work only fairly begun, he entered 
a syndicate, in 1880, with Mr. Smith, Mr. Stephen, and Mr. 
Angus to build the Canadian Pacific. His part in this was far 
from the perfunctory one frequently imagined. The fact was 
that he was already more familiar with the western country 
than any other man connected with transportation. He trav- 
eled incessantly, by buckboard, on horseback, on foot. He had 
men out in the field and others gathering information and send- 
ing him reports. For, of course, from the first moment that he 
felt secure of the St. Paul and Pacific, he intended to realize in 
fact the pretentious dream embodied in its name. He would 
build in his own time and his own way, but his railroad was to 
become transcontinental. Meantime, friendship, his apprecia- 
tion of his associates, and his fitness for the part took him into 
the heart of the Canadian Pacific project. It is little known that 
to him was committed the location of its western line and a 
large part of the control of actual construction. He purchased 
an interest in the old St. Paul and Duluth Railroad, giving a 
lake outlet for his system. At the same time arrangements were 
made for a future independent line into Duluth-Superior, with 
•great terminals there, and a direct line also from the head of the 




lakes to the west. He had already started his system on that 
western flight which was to know no rest until it should reach 
Puget Sound. Construction records were broken in the great 
advance that pushed it through to Helena in 1887, and to 
Everett in 1893. By this time the Great Northern, organized 
in 1890, had become the parent company. The St. Paul, Minne- 
apolis, and Manitoba had, as Mr. Hill said, "outgrown its 
clothes." Its successor became the depository of the immense 
and varied interests that his intelligence, energy, and will gath- 
ered together in the vast territory which he now made supreme- 
ly his own. The financing of such a railroad system as this 
had come to be, and of the contemplated additions, could be 
carried successfully with this broadened base. 

In the meantime every connection and every territory had 
been looked after with all the old thoroughness. The Duluth- 
Superior line and terminals became reality; the company ran 
its own steamships on the Great Lakes and smashed elevator 
monopolies at Buffalo. Wherever, along the two thousand 
miles of track, population grew, more railroads sprouted. 
Wherever a railroad stuck out a stub, there population 
appeared. This reciprocating action assured prosperity for both 
the company and the country. The Northwest became a name 
of power to conjure with, largely because the Great Northern 
was what it was, and because it followed the policy of encour- 
agement to internal growth that expressed a fundamental 
thought of Mr. Hill. 

During this period, which was contemporary with another 
disaster to the Northern Pacific, the control of the latter had 
been more than once within his reach. Lord Strathcona said 
many years afterward to Archbishop Ireland that if Mr. Hill 
had determined to take over the Northern Pacific, all that he 
needed was to send a cable to London stating the fact and the 
amount of money required. "No matter what the sum/' he 
added emphatically, "so great was our confidence in Mr. Hill 
that it would have been forthcoming." But he went his own 
way, following his own sure plan. Mr. J. P. Morgan took in- 




hand the reorganization of the Northern Pacific, and a plan was 
agreed upon between him, Mr. Hill and the Deutsche Bank of 
Berlin, by which the Great Northern should hold half the stock 
of the new company and guarantee, up to a certain amount, the 
principal and interest of its bonds. This having been forbidden 
by the courts, the reorganization went forward as a matter of 
individual interest and agreement, and cemented a relation of 
confidence and understanding between Mr. Hill and Mr. Mor- 
gan which was never to be broken. At the same time questions 
of supremacy had arisen in the debatable land of the Pacific 
Northwest, where a Union Pacific possession, the Oregon Short 
Line and its accessories, impinged upon the territory of the 
northern transcontinentals. Mr. Hill did not seek war, but he 
did not undervalue the seriousness of the situation. He took 
up the matter with Mr. Harriman directly, and it is not difficult 
to read between the lines of their correspondence the note of 
irrepressible conflict. To the struggle for territory was added 
the ambition to control Oriental trade, whose growth was a 
direct creation of the brain and railroad policy of Mr. Hill. 
Finding westbound freight over his new line far in excess of 
eastbound, he made a very low rate on Pacific Coast lumber to 
fill his empty cars. The business growing so rapidly as to swing 
the balance too far in the other direction, he ransacked the 
Orient through his agents and representatives to discover what 
it could buy from this country. He planned a great trade revo- 
lution, which should not only gather up commerce everywhere 
west of the Alleghanies and transport it to Japan, China, India, 
but actually revolutionize the ocean carrying trade of the world 
by swinging it westward around the globe instead of eastward 
through the Suez Canal. He built for this Pacific route the 
biggest freight ships ever launched. Few conceptions of world 
trade and world interest have been so grand and just as this, 
so founded on fact instead of fancy, so possible of realization. 

That this development of American interest was to be 
shackled and prevented later by the action of the federal power 
upon the export rates did not affect either its present promise or 




the hostility naturally awakened in a competitor. Mr. Hill and 
Mr. Morgan understood each other; and the two railroads 
which they represented bought jointly the Burlington system, to 
make their traffic machine equal to the purpose present to their 
minds. Mr. Harriman held this an invasion and a menace, de- 
manded a share in control of the new property, and, when this I 
was refused, answered the challenge by attempting to buy a i 
majority of the shares of the Northern Pacific itself. It was i 
the darkest and most dangerous day in Mr. HilPs business life. I 
The plan was practically executed before it was discovered. I 
Mr. Hill said openly, then and afterward, that if the Union I 
Pacific controlled the Northern Pacific, he should advise his ( 
friends to sell their holdings of Great Northern for what they 
could get. The Harriman party had secured a majority of the t 
total capital stock of the Northern Pacific. Mr. Hill and Mr. ) 
Morgan, who was abroad at the time, had to buy fifteen mil- 1 
lion dollars of common stock, in an excited market, to give e 
them control of that class of stock, and they did. It was the l( 
famous ninth of May, 1901. Not only did Mr. Hill and Mr. 1 
Morgan stand loyally together against the temptation of of- 1 
fered millions, but the former had the satisfaction of finding p; 
behind him, to their last share and their last dollar, the capital- E 
ists and stockholders who had been associated with him from T 
the beginning. He had won their supreme confidence, and now tr 
it stood him in good stead. The holders of the common stock i: 
having a right to retire the preferred on any first of January, m 
the victory remained with Mr. Hill and Mr. Morgan. An un- i 
derstanding was reached which left the Northern Pacific ini It 
Mr. Morgan's hands, with representatives of each of the big; 0: 
rival interests in the directories of the others, on a "community of 
of interest" basis. Then, at the end of 1901, Mr. Hill formed stc 
the Northern Securities Company, whose purpose was to pre- 
vent raids such as this and assure future harmony of interest in 
and action. After years of litigation it was finally declared sio 
illegal by a majority of one vote in the Supreme Court of the lei 
United States. Mr. Hill was not taken by surprise here or ma 




anywhere. Mr. Harriman, in an attempt to resume the struggle 
for control by demanding back his original shares of stock, was 
defeated. The Great Northern pursued its triumphant way 
and, in 1907, consolidated all its proprietary companies under 
that name. In the same year Mr. Hill, having served for 
twenty-five years as its president, for which he never consented 
to receive any compensation, resigned the office to his second 
son, L. W. Hill, who was prepared by great native qualities, by 
fourteen years of understanding service under his father, and 
by a rare sense of filial affection and devotion to fill the posi- 
tion worthily, and himself became chairman of the board of 

During this later years occurred a development most charac- 
teristic of Mr. Hill. The discovery of iron ore in northern 
Minnesota had put a new face on property and progress there. 
To aid in the construction of the direct line of the Great North- 
ern from Duluth northwest it was desirable to buy a small 
logging road that was in the way. Timber lands, some of 
which were known, and others supposed, to carry ore deposits, 

I went with it. Mr. Hill bought the whole property personally, 
paying for it a little over four million dollars of his own money. 
He turned the railroad over to the Great Northern at cost. 

I The ore properties were investigated, developed, constituted a 
trust, and the whole value — nobody knows how many millions 
it will amount to before it is exhausted — represented by one 
million five hundred thousand shares, was distributed, share for 
share, without charge to the holders of Great Northern stock. 
It was a magnificent gift of property belonging by every title 
of law and custom to Mr. Hill, but which the peculiar relation 
of trust that he had always felt to exist between him and his 
stockholders would not permit him to retain. 

He had, from time to time, consented to make public ad- 
dresses on topics in which he felt a lively interest, if the occa- 
sion seemed to promise practical results. In 1906 he delivered 
before the Minnesota Agricultural Society, to an audience of 
many thousands gathered to hear him on the State Fair 




grounds in St. Paul, the address on "The Nation's Future," 
which attracted attention all over the world. It was a protest 
against waste of natural resources, and marked the beginning 
of the conservation movement in the United States. As one 
result of it President Roosevelt called a conference of the gov- 
ernors of the several states to meet at the White House in 
May, 1908, and there Mr. Hill repeated and emphasized his 
views. To the end of his life he was greatly interested in the 
theme, especially as applied to agricultural means and processes, 
and in its development in the direction of a proper conservation 
of capital and credit, to which he gave much thought and de- 
voted several of his most studied public utterances. 

Between 1905 and 1908 the Spokane, Portland, and Seattle 
line was built, following the north bank of the Columbia and 
freeing Mr. Hill's system from dependence on any one for its 
entrance to Portland. The property was constructed by, and 
belongs to, the Great Northern and the Northern Pacific jointly. 
He was urgent that the public authorities and the audiences that 
he addressed on special occasions should understand the coun- 
try's need of more railroad facilities ; more lines of track, more 
equipment, larger and better terminals. He objected to the 
progressive increase of expenses and decrease of rates imposed 
by law, less because such regulation curtailed the profit of rail- 
road stockholders than because it discouraged the investment 
of new capital, by which alone railroad service could be made 
equal to growing public demands. He was never insensible to 
the influence of a proper and legitimate self-interest; but far 
above that, and more imperative in its claim upon his allegiance, 
was his conception of public duty, and of the effect of a given 
act upon public prosperity and the general good. He fought 
early and late for reciprocity between the United States and 
Canada. It would undoubtedly have added to the business of 
the Great Northern. But he believed with all his heart that it 
would also add to the prosperity of the people of the United 
States. And if he had not been convinced of this last, he would 
not have raised his voice in favor of the policy. His most 




strongly held views, on the subjects that he deemed of para- 
mount importance, were expressed in a series of essays on 
economic theory and fact published by him in book form in 
1 910 under the title Highways of Progress. It was Mr. Hill's 
only contribution to the library of printed books; but his 
speeches, addresses, interviews, newspaper and magazine ar- 
ticles were legion. He was keenly interested in every topic 
relating to the public interest, expressed his opinion freely, and 
took a point of view which later events always showed to be 
both public-spirited and economically sound. 

Mr. Hill now finished his financial shaping of the Great 
Northern by approving such additions to its capital stock as 
its new acquisitions by purchase or construction required, and 
perfected the plan for the big blanket six hundred million dol- 
lar bond issue which was to put its finances beyond the reach 
of serious disturbance for fifty years to come. Finally, in 
1 91 2, he severed formally his official connection with the rail- 
way system by resigning his chairmanship. He accompanied 
this with a review of the rise and growth of the property, which 
is an epitome of his active life as a railroad builder and man- 
ager, prepared by his own hand. The remaining years were as 
busy as their predecessors had been. In 19 12 he made public 
his plan to endow St. Paul with a public library for research. 
It was to be for the service of authors and investigators on 
special lines. He wished it to become the last word in both 
information and authority. The concrete embodiment of his 
thought stands in this city to-day, one of the most unique and 
perfect specimens of architectural beauty in the United States. 
This and all other uncompleted designs of Mr. Hill are being 
carried out with pious regard and care by the members of Mr. 
Hill's family. 

He had long felt the difficulty, the danger, and frequently 
the injustice of a financial dependence upon eastern resources of 
money and credit by the farmers, merchants, and manufac- 
turers of the Northwest. More than once he himself had had to 
stand between them and ruin. The cash and the influence that 



he could command built a dike which alone stood firm against 
the waves of panic. For the convenience of his own great inter- 
ests, as well as to put an end to this situation, he determined to 
create the financial independence of the Northwest, whose 
material prosperity he had been building for so many years. 
He bought the First National Bank and the Second National 
Bank of St. Paul, which were merged under the name of the 
First National Bank of St. Paul on the first of January, 191 3. 
The growth of this financial institution since that time has had 
few parallels in any country. It has found opportunity and 
profit in supporting and promoting legitimate industry of every 
kind throughout the whole Northwest. Especially has it con- 
tributed to the welfare of the farm and to enhancing the value 
of its products. In 191 5 was completed also the great office 
building in St. Paul that houses the bank, the Northwestern 
Trust Company, also purchased by Mr. Hill, and the general 
offices of the Great Northern, the Northern Pacific, and the 
Burlington railroad systems. These were fixed for the future 
by him in the city of his home through the erection of this 
thoroughly modern structure, every detail of which had to 
pass a preliminary examination under his inquiring and critical 

He was immensely interested in the European war, with an 
intense sympathy for the Allies. He was high in the councils 
of the financial leaders of this country and Europe, amongst 
whom the question of protecting exchange and regulating in- 
ternational credit was debated and settled; and common con- 
sent assigns to him the most influential voice in determining 
the acceptance of the first foreign war loan proposed, and thus 
fixing the future policy of the country. He took this position 
not because of his sympathy with any other people, but because 
he believed it absolutely essential to the interests of the farmers 
and other producers of the United States. He was at this 
time, as always, busy with thoughts of the future, scanning the 
horizon for signals of hope or dread for this country after the 
war should close. His last words and thoughts were devoted 




to this theme. In the midst of such activity, such usefulness, 
and such promise of busy and beneficent years to come, Mr. 
Hill died, after a brief illness, which was not even alarming 
until it neared its final stage, May 29, 1916, at his home in St. 
Paul. He was buried, amidst expressions of sorrow literally 
world-wide, in a spot that he loved much in life, on the shore 
of the lake at his country home at North Oaks. 

It has been possible to trace here the life of Mr. Hill only 
in its barest and baldest outlines. Spots where the high light 
falls, acts greatly significant in themselves or much bruited 
among the public, pivotal points of his career have been 
selected to make an intelligible sketch. So many-sided, so 
brilliantly marked by episode and achievement along scores of 
divergent ways was the life of this extraordinary man that no 
one can hope to do it justice. And within the limits to which 
even your courtesy and the circumstances of this occasion must 
yield, I have not found it possible to introduce any of a multi- 
tude of incidents which are properly within the purview of this 
society, because they are part of the development of this north- 
western country and its historic past. I can only hope that the 
more extended treatment of every fact of Mr. Hills' life which 
has been given in volumes presently to appear may supplement 
satisfactorily to you, his townsmen, his friends, and his coad- 
jutors of Minnesota and the Northwest, this catalogue of sub- 
ject headings to which practically our consideration must be 
confined to-night. 

But to the chronologically arranged list of events which I 
have presented thus far must be added a number of others thai 
loom large, some of them very large, in the life of the man in 
whose honor we are met. These are connected rather with his 
mentality, his sympathy, his spiritual force and insight, with 
the whole trend of his work and purpose than with any one 
epoch or accomplishment. He was consistently and immensely 
generous. No one can ever take accurate measure of this, for 
his right hand held no communication with his left. His pri- 
vate charities were numerous and unceasing. His gifts to edu- 




cation were constant and large. He loved especially to help 
small denominational colleges, believing in the necessity of a 
religious environment for the best development of youthful 
character. St. Paul Seminary is one of his royal foundations. 
Hamline University owes him much. So do a dozen other 
institutions that it would be easy to name in the Twin Cities, 
and scores of them in other parts of the Northwest. Besides 
this, he always contributed liberally toward big public enter- 
prises ; the erection of important new buildings ; the location in 
St. Paul of new institutions like the packing plant of South St. 
Paul, where his powerful personal influence was even more 
effective than his contribution ; charitable or public movements 
for a worthy purpose and on a big scale; the needs of those 
whom he knew and of many whom he never knew, when the 
tale of their genuine distress reached him. He had a very 
tender heart for all misfortune and suffering. It never left 
him unmoved. In times of financial panic he was the very 
bulwark of the Northwest. Again and again he placed the 
resources of the railroad, his personal fortune, and his com- 
manding personal power behind the business interests of this 
section when a failure of confidence was driving everything 
upon the rocks. Dozens of prosperous concerns in these two 
cities to-day owe it to his quiet help, when no one else could or 
would come to the rescue, that they did not disappear in the 
gulf of bankruptcy in some of the many dark days that over- 
hung the country during the more than thirty years that Mr. 
Hill made the Northwest the particular beneficiary of his provi- 
dent care. The farmers of the country traversed by his rail- 
road owe it to him that their products found a market and 
retained a value. He carried the industrial Northwest, as well 
as so many individuals and firms, on his own shoulders through 
many a flood that engulfed lesser men. Nothing that affected 
its fortunes found him indifferent. From Minnesota to Wash- 
ington and Oregon every commonwealth became the object of 
his peculiar care. His influence, his purse, his individual effort 
were at the service of their people when he saw an opportunity 




to advance their development or a need to save them from the 
menace of any form of industrial misfortune. To him, indeed, 
the Northwest was a sort of big family, whose affairs called out 
from him a kindly and paternal oversight. 

He had this feeling in intenser degree for the men who had 
worked with and for him. There was rare confidence between 
him and the old employees of the Great Northern. He knew 
them by sight, called them by their first names, would gossip 
with them about early days, saw that in their age they did not 
come to want. He trusted them absolutely. When labor 
troubles were abroad and people advised him not to go about 
the yards freely, he asked indignantly where he would be safe 
if it were not among Great Northern men. And his faith was 
justified. His men not only admired, but loved him. The 
Great Northern Veterans' Association, which always held its 
reunions on Mr. Hill's birthday, with him as guest whenever it 
was possible for him to be present, gave proof of that. Among 
the mourners at his grave were his own employees. The Great 
Northern Employes' Investment Company, founded in 1900 by 
Mr. Hill, was an early and sane example of profit-sharing that 
has been very successful. 

Innumerable honors and titles of distinction sought him, and 
were met with the simple sincerity that he showed in every- 
thing. If they were empty gauds, no matter how highly 
esteemed or greatly coveted by others, he would have none of 
them. He refused each year scores of invitations to be guest 
and speaker at meetings of eminent people on occasions of con- 
sequence. None the less did he appreciate recognition of what 
he had done and was trying to do. It was his work, and not 
himself, for which he welcomed appreciation ; and this distinc- 
tion was made apparent in acts and words. So he was not 
indifferent when he was asked to open the Alaska- Yukon- 
Pacific Exposition in 1909; when Yale University gave him, in 
1910, the degree of LL.D., to be followed afterward by other 
institutions of learning ; when seventy-four of his friends from 
all parts of the country raised, without his knowledge, a fund 




of $125,000 to establish a professorship of transportation at 
Harvard, to be named for him. These were real monuments to 
the achievements of his life; and he warmed, as we all of us 
do, to the word of appreciation while living, which is worth so 
many eloquent testimonials after we are gone. 

Mr. Hill was always intensely interested in public affairs. 
He watched them with the eye of a business man, an economist, 
a patriot. He was always a democrat, whether you spelled it 
with a capital or without. He felt that results of infinite 
importance were bound up with the success or failure of this 
country's experiment in democracy. Alexander Hamilton and 
John Marshall were types that he admired. To the latter he 
would, perhaps, have given the palm as the greatest of Ameri- 
cans. Often when people believed that he was advocating or 
opposing with tremendous earnestness some proposed measure 
because of its expected effect upon his own interests, he had 
scarcely given that aspect of it a thought. Every party and 
every innovation in government were measured by him first, 
and accepted or rejected, according to what he believed would 
be their permanent effect upon the institutions of the country. 
He affiliated naturally, by economic predilection, with the old 
school Democratic Party. Grover Cleveland approached his 
political ideal, besides being one of his close personal friends. 
Like him, he would not follow the party if he believed it false 
to the public interest and to its own traditions. So he opposed 
the free silver heresy earnestly and vigorously. It was to pre- 
vent the St. Paul Daily Globe from passing into the control of 
the free silver element that Mr. Hill bought it. The people of 
this section and this city ought to know what use he made of 
his ownership. As its editor and manager during the first two 
and the last two years of its history as the property of Mr. Hill, 
I can attest personally that at no time did there ever once come 
from him, directly or indirectly, a hint or suggestion as to its 
editorial conduct or policy. On the only occasion when I 
asked him for direction, in a matter where my own opinion was 
still undetermined and where I knew that he had a very large 




. financial interest without knowing on which side it lay, he 
refused to say a word. His only instruction, then or ever, was 
to make the Globe a good newspaper, a credit to St. Paul, and 
to follow my own judgment and conscience in doing so. He 
had the Globe discontinued because, after ten years' experience, 
with a satisfactory and rapidly growing circulation, the adver- 
tising receipts showed a continuous decline. He had said from 
the first that, if the paper succeeded, he would not accept a 
dollar of the profits. Convinced that it could not become a 
financial success, he wound it up just as he would any other 
business in similar circumstances. There was no feeling about 
it and no occult reason for it. He did not believe that a news- 
paper ought to live unless its opinion was honest and un- 
trammeled. Nor did he believe that it ought to live unless it 
could make an honest living in the world. These two principles 
he held with reference to all other newspapers as well as the 
single one he owned, and for which he long cherished great 
hopes as an instrument in the upbuilding of St. Paul. 

All his life bore the stamp of his love of the Northwest. 
Besides the imperial monument of his railway system, every 
state in it has lesser memorials in such number that they could 
not even be listed here. He was at home anywhere, in 
acquaintance, in reminiscence, in anecdote, in intimate topo- 
graphical knowledge and familiarity with business conditions, 
in any one of those seven states that he named collectively "the 
zone of plenty." Most particularly did he cherish Minnesota, 
the scene of his earliest struggles and successes. He knew it as 
a boy might know his native village. He had in mind every 
watercourse, every coulee, every elevation, all the old trails 
and stopping-places and landmarks. He was encyclopedic in 
his information, and could correct offhand any error made in 
book or article that laid profane hands upon the past. He never 
forgot those early courses to Fort Garry, those voyages up and 
down the Red River Valley. He gloried in the growth of the 
state, and fretted because it did not make greater progress. He 
was always generous with his time and his means to any plan 




which promised advantage to Minnesota. He created at 
Duluth-Superior the most efficient terminal arrangements in 
the world. He was a loyal friend to St. Paul and Minneapolis. 
Both cities were always ready to do him honor. The tie with 
each ran back to the earliest times, and to a feeling which was 
as ready to give a stone-arch bridge over the Mississippi to one 
as a railroad terminal building to the other. His gifts to 
Minneapolis institutions were manifold. He enriched her art 
treasures by contributions from his own. St. Paul was his 
home. Here he had lived as a bachelor. Here he chose the 
first home for his young wife, a small but comfortable house 
on Canada Street near Pearl, now called Grove Street. When 
it became too small, he removed temporarily to Dayton's Bluff, 
while he built at Ninth and Canada Streets the house that he 
occupied until his residence on Summit Avenue was ready for 
occupancy in 189 1. In St. Paul were born his three sons and 
seven daughters, all of whom except one daughter, who died 
in infancy, survive him. He resisted considerations of con- 
venience that sometimes tempted him to remove to New York. 
He kept the Great Northern headquarters here, though many 
overtures were made to him by other cities. Wherever his 
voice had weight with other railroads and other interests than 
his own, it spoke for St. Paul. He placed here his great bank- 
ing institution. He built here his big office building. Here he 
erected his wonderful library. And whenever personal interest 
or money consideration was required to bring some enterprise 
to St. Paul or to enlarge the scope and usefulness of a local 
institution already existing, Mr. Hill's hand was always active 
and his purse open. Such misunderstandings as at times arose 
look insignificant in perspective. He loved St. Paul, and St. 
Paul loved him, with a deep and enduring affection. 

He was interested in the work and progress of this society. 
Its archeologist, Mr. Warren Upham, has placed at my dis- 
posal the results of his researches in its archives. At its meet- 
ing on March 9, 1868, five new members were elected : Dr. J. 
H. Stewart, Dr. D. W. Hand, James J. Hill, J. W. Cunning- 




. ham, and C. M. Boyle. On December 14, 1868, Mr. Hill was 
chosen a member of the executive council of the society, and 
remained such for the forty-seven and a half years between 
that date and his death. No other member in all its history 
served for so long a term. In 1869 Mr. Hill was one of a com- 
mittee to secure suitable addresses for the society's meetings. 
In 1872 he was made first vice-president. In 1897 he delivered 
before it an address dealing largely with his early experiences 
in this state, which remains to-day the fullest source of infor- 
mation about that period of his life. He was always interested 
in the society's proceedings, and urged it years ago to secure 
from all the old pioneers a stenographic report of their early 
lecollections, to be used as a basis for historical treatment. His 
gifts to it were many and valuable. As early as 1869 he con- 
tributed twenty-five newspapers, then much needed, to its 
embryo library. Later on he gave Travels in the Interior of 
North America, by Maximilian, Prince of Wied. This is a 
work issued from 1832 to 1834, with an atlas of eighty plates, 
showing views of Indians, buffalo, and other primitive sights 
on the Missouri River. It is probably the most expensive work 
in the society's collection. The painting in the reading room, 
by Alexis Fournier, named "The Chapel of St. Paul," is a gift 
from Mr. Hill, dating more than twenty years ago. His 
interest in the society and its work was deepened by his feeling 
for the old times and his wonderful memory. He cared to have 
things preserved as he remembered them. His passion for 
accuracy made a treasury of things of the actual past seem to 
him a precious thing. His feeling for that past was also an 
essential part of him. He loved the memory of long days and 
nights, of conflict with the elements, of escape from the violence 
of nature and of treacherous man, on the northern trail and 
out through the western wilderness. Most of all he loved the 
Mississippi River. He felt a personal relation to it. Up it he 
had come to fortune and fame. On its shores and through its 
agency he had learned the elementary lore of transportation. 
In a certain intimate sense it was "his river." He knew the 




name of every spot along its upper reaches, and all their 
changes. He loved to sweep along the familiar banks in his 
car. The fresh-water pearls, choice specimens of which he 
collected, had an added charm for him if they came from the 
shallows of the Mississippi. There was a mystic bond between 
the father of the Northwest of to-day and its ancient Father 
of Waters. 

Mr. Hill was a man of engaging personality, and of acquire- 
ments that measured up to the level of his great qualities. He 
was a reader and a student all his days. He sought first the 
fundamental facts, all the facts, on any subject that appealed 
to him. Then, with amazing clearness of insight and 
prescience, he went to the heart of it. His prodigious memory, 
which relinquished nothing that ever came within its grasp, 
completed a mental equipment as rare as it was powerful. He 
found certainty while others were mastering preliminary con- 
ditions. He was as genial in his personal relations as he was 
vigorous and masterful in business. He knew how to command 
and how to win obedience. He had the will to achieve, and 
understood how to choose and use his instruments. Woe to 
the man who stood in the way of the carrying-out of his plans. 
But his whole disposition was kindly. Brusque at times he 
was and must be, but he was a man of strong attachments, of 
pertinacious friendships, of unceasing generosity, of unbending 
loyalty, of tenderness toward suffering, and of sympathy with 
unsuccess unless it was due to laziness or dishonesty. For 
either of these faults he had no tolerance and no pardon. The 
strongest element in all his strength was the tie that bound him 
to his home. There lay his happiness. There, he said often, 
was the key to most of his success. There his affections found 
security and free play. He was always simple, hating every 
form of ostentation, loving literature and conversation and 
science and art, but loving his home and his life there most of 
all. As a connoisseur of art he stood very high. Not the least 
amazing thing about this amazing man was the fact that he 
knew painting and pictures as few men in this country knew 




• them. He bought not as a mere collector, and on the advice of 
others, but as an expert and judge of the beautiful, lie no 
more needed or brooked any suggestion in passing on a picture 
than he did in reviewing a plan of one of his engineers. Sub- 
ject, feeling, atmosphere, technique, value — he understood it 
all as if he had been born and educated among studios. Almost 
the strangest of his manifold gifts was this appreciation and 
unerring judgment of the beautiful in all its forms: paintings, 
jewels, tapestries, china, whatever men have agreed to hold 
precious as enmeshing for one moment the evasive spirit of 
beauty. The artist in him contended for supremacy with the 
man of affairs. 

Practical estimates of Mr. Hill and of the work that he 
accomplished in the world find three fields in which he excelled 
especially : as a railroad builder and manager, as a captain of 
finance, and as a sound economist, with particular reference to 
the development and improvement of agriculture. To the first 
his whole life bears witness, and there his works do follow 
him. Aside from the great accomplishments of which this 
Northwest is the living result, two features of his career as a 
railroad man stand out in strong relief. One was his command 
of all the elements of construction. His engineers came to 
him for help in solving their knotty problems. They never 
found him lacking in original ideas or in information or in 
sound judgment of the adaptation of means to ends. He was 
the first to lay down the general rule that railroads should be 
built with the lowest grades and curves compatible with the 
economic limits of cost of construction as related to the prob- 
able future of traffic. The ensuing lower cost of operation was 
equivalent to simple interest, for a time, on a larger sum, in- 
stead of compound interest, in the shape of higher costs, on a 
somewhat smaller sum, forever. This made him the most 
formidable competitor in the Northwest. It relieved him from 
all fear of successful rivalry and kept the operating ratio of 
his railroad the despair of others. By this policy he fixed and 
expressed a principle and established a rule which all other 




railroad men in the country were to follow later. Because of 
low operating cost he was sure of being able not only to 
bankrupt any rival that should become bumptious enough to 
try conclusions with him, but also to pay uninterruptedly divi- 
dends that made his system a synonym for safe and profitable 
investment in every capital of Europe as well as all over the 
United States. 

The law of construction just stated has its relation to financ- 
ing as well as to engineering. Mr. Hill was born with a natural 
grasp of financial possibilities and relations. He had always 
made his profit; from the warehouse on the levee, from com- 
missions and shrewd purchases of odd lots that tempted nobody 
else, from the contract with the St. Paul and Pacific, from the 
,Red River business, from the fuel trade in which his exhaustive 
knowledge of the coal resources of the Northwest made him a 
master. The railroad was only a larger opportunity for the 
exercise of native genius. The boldness of his original plan, 
which bought a railroad system, consisting so largely of old 
junk and dishonored bonds, on a modest cash payment and a 
promise to exchange new securities issued against the same 
property for old, staggered the men of his own time. In him 
it was not speculation, but foreknowledge. He knew the coun- 
try, its future, the present and the coming value in earning 
power of every battered locomotive and every foot of sagging 
track. He knew himself and what he could do. From the 
moment that he was in control, the railroad manager and the 
financier in him were so merged that neither could be separated 
from the other or arrested in its career of conquest. He could 
borrow money at the beginning because he could convince the 
lender that it would be repaid with interest and profit. It was 
repaid scrupulously; came back and brought friends and rela- 
tives with it. Mr. Hill, after his first year in control, never 
had any difficulty in getting all the money he needed for any 
enterprise. All the wonders of financing the transcontinental 
line, the Pacific extension, the innumerable branch lines and 
feeders, the great consolidation, the Burlington purchase, were 




performed with as little friction or delay as the building of a 
spur track to somebody's warehouse. Years before his life 
ended he was consulted on financial problems from one end of 
the country to the other. He was always in demand at meet- 
ings of bankers. His advice was asked by those who had 
charge of reforming the monetary system of the United States. 
No big financial transaction was carried through without his 
participation or friendly counsel, always sought and freely 
given. It was a fine thing to see how, when others were dis- 
tracted by all sorts of foolish arguments for or against war 
loans to the Allies, in times that threw men's judgment off 
balance because they disturbed clear and quiet thinking, he 
went straight to the central fact. Our own country, he said, 
must sell its food products and raw materials abroad, or face 
business collapse. It could not sell without buyers. Its only 
customers could not pay cash, but had sound credit to offer. 
Therefore we must take the loan, not for the advantage of the 
borrowers, but for our own commercial salvation. In the last 
year of his life the voice and counsel of Mr. Hill were potent 
in the financial deliberations of America and of the world. 

His services to agriculture do not yield in magnitude or 
value to those he rendered elsewhere. They have a double 
relation to his life, because, as he saw it, the farm and the rail- 
road were partners. It was from that conception that the St. 
Paul, Minneapolis, and Manitoba was born. The wheels of the 
Red River carts and the busy gophers brought to the surface 
soil specimens with a promise of inexhaustible richness. This 
would attract people. People would need railroads. Railroads 
bringing people, people creating more railroads, so he visioned 
the everlasting cycle. Therefore he believed that he was 
helping the farm when he improved the railroad, and helping 
the railroad when he showed how to make the farm more pros- 
perous. He always insisted that the lowest freight rates should 
be those on farm products. He made it relatively cheaper for 
the farmer of the Northwest to reach his market than for any 
other in the country. He said over and over to the farmers 




that they and the railroad were in the same boat; that if the 
farm did not prosper there could be no business, and nothing 
for the railroad to carry. Therefore he focused his attention 
from a very early day on increasing the number of farmers and 
the net acre product of the farm. From the period of his 
early prosperity in St. Paul he had been interested in trotting 
horses, high-grade animals, and blooded stock. He had a stock 
farm of his own at Crystal Bay, Lake Minnetonka. A crop 
failure in 1881, with disaster to the farmers and bad effects to 
railroad traffic, made him urgent that farm industry should be 
diversified. He determined that, as he said, the farmer should 
no longer have all his eggs in one basket. So he began, in 
1883, the distribution of high-grade bulls, bought abroad by 
himself, for free service throughout the counties of the Red 
River Valley. No matter whether he was understood and 
appreciated or not, he never relinquished his efforts to raise the 
quality of all kinds of live stock all over the Northwest. In the 
last year of his life he was importing the best strains of general 
purpose cattle, at his own expense, and pushing them out on the 
farms. As years passed, his activity broadened with his 
interest. He taught incessantly a better agriculture. Under 
his direction the Great Northern entered the agronomic field, 
ran demonstration trains, conducted demonstration plots on 
farms, analyzed soils, for which purpose Mr. Hill gave the use 
of the greenhouses attached to his residence, scattered all over 
the Northwest truths about fertilization and soil conservation 
and the possibilities of production. He himself kept up a per- 
sonal campaign in season and out of season. He said that the 
gospel of better farming must be carried to the man on the 
land. He sent out missionaries to take it to him. He went 
himself. Every year he devoted time and strength, such as few 
men would lavish on their own most important affairs, to talk 
at county fairs in different parts of the Northwest, to instruct 
the people how to bring the farm up nearer to the level of its 
reasonable practical possibilities. If the building of the Great 
Northern added, as it did, billions of dollars to the value of 




the real property in the Northwest, the labors and contributions 
of Mr. Hill for the improvement of agriculture have added 
hundreds of millions to the amount and value of the product. 
This is an influence going on incessantly and giving cumulative 
returns with each passing year. The railroad, the bank, and the 
farm are all monuments to this life so magnificently fertile in 
conception and so tirelessly successful in execution. 

I have detained you far too long, and yet I feel that I have 
barely indicated some of the material that should be included in 
any formal tribute to the work and character of James J. Hill. 
In many respects, where his unique genius breaks through all 
restraints, his life defies the limitations that even a criticism of 
appreciation must impose ; the substance of its quality can not 
be conveyed within material boundaries and through the incom- 
plete interpretation of words. In a deep and true sense it may 
be said of him that, like Abou ben Adhem, he loved his fellow 
men. About him there was no sentimentality — a thing that he 
abhorred above all others. But he wanted to see everybody 
prosper legitimately. He wanted society to advance ; and right 
ideas in business, in economic changes, in government, to pre- 
vail. He was a very patriotic American ; and in nearly every 
instance where people declared him a pessimist, because he 
exposed the certain future misfortune that must follow mis- 
takes or refusals to face the obvious truth, it was not himself, 
but the future of the country, of which he was thinking. He 
had reached the limit of personal ambition. He was destitute 
of personal vanity. He had, as he said, more money than he 
knew what to do with ; and its chief value to him was the fact 
that it had come to him not as a direct product of striving, but 
as an indirect accompaniment of the pursuit of those larger aims 
and ideas to which the strength of his will and the soul of his 
purpose were ever bent. He feared nothing for the future so 
much as the possible failure of the crucial American experiment 
in democracy. In the last analysis he brought every proposed 
innovation in law-making, every novel economic theory, every 
general principle and every practice that bore upon his own 

322 JOSEPH G. PYLE Feb. 

activity or his own fortune to the same test : What would be 
its ultimate effect upon the institutions and the political destiny 
of the United States ? His own great enterprises were not the 
object of a keener or greater solicitude. If his were the powers, 
his also were the anxieties of the statesman. Nor do I think 
it partiality or exaggeration to say, after a historic survey and 
an analytic scrutiny of the time in which he lived, that he was 
its greatest, its most compelling figure. By the complex, yet 
singularly even, texture of his being ; by the works of his hands ; 
by his interest in, and his service to, the life of the world and its 
evolution; by the piercing intelligence that commanded both 
past and future; by mastery of men and consummate art of 
method ; by all the gifts which we call genius because it sets its 
possessor apart from and above other men; and then by the 
sense of unity of being and purpose between him and all other 
men, communities, nations, and the ebb and flow of intellectual 
and spiritual tides past the shores of our little island in space 
and out, through the immensities of the universe, he won 
through heroic service the right to that earthly immortality 
which destiny herself had allotted to him when she assigned to 
him these qualities, as winning and as masterful as forces of 
nature, that accomplish one man's lordship in a world of men. 

We are proud to have called our neighbor this man whom all 
the world honored while he passed so quietly among us with 
his strong soul and simple word. If his was a mystic gift of 
prophetic vision, that is part of the dower of the Celt, with it 
went also the capacity for deep feeling and the incomparable 
swiftness and strength in action that won for him our admira- 
tion. If he had not lived there would, of course, have still 
been a Minnesota and a Northwest, but as if born out of due 
season, and how different from what we inherit. He was of 
national, of international stature. This state named him its 
greatest living citizen for the Hall of Fame of a national exposi- 
tion, just as the state of Washington keeps a bust of him on 
the campus of her university as one whom she delighted to 
honor. He was of lowly lineage, and the great of the world 




felt privileged to know him. In every capital of Europe and 
in the thronged centers of the Orient his name was familiar. 
He was of the West, and the East proudly acknowledged his 
qualities and achievements. What more of honor could be 
bestowed than the consenting opinion of his own epoch laid in 
tribute on his grave ? To us here belongs the closer and ten- 
derer tie of common local citizenship, of daily association, of 
the mutual interest and the kindly word and look. This society, 
old as years go in the youthful genealogical record of the 
Northwest, is very proud to have carried for nearly half a 
century on its records the name of the man most distinguished 
in his time for his accomplishment, for power, for deep under- 
standing and sympathy with the needs, interests, and aspira- 
tions of men. He had ideals, in which his city, his state, his 
country, and his kind were included, and he was faithful to 
them. That is the last and highest word of praise to be spoken 
of any man, who is son of earth and also son of heaven. With 
it, with our regret, our remembrance, our admiration, our won- 
der, and our love, we may leave to memory and to fame the 
man who was in himself the builder of empires, the wayfarer 
on highroads of genius, the tender husband and father, the 
devoted and unselfish citizen, and the loyal friend. 

St. Paul, Minnesota 

Joseph G. Pyle 


It is the present which gives direction to the study of history. 
In the piping times of peace historians were concerned chiefly 
with those things which lay within the sphere of "economic 
interpretations." When war was to be averted or embraced, 
even the most orthodox buried themselves in the intricacies 
of diplomacy and waxed enthusiastic or pessimistic over the 
growth or decline of international law. Now that the war 
is at last a reality, we all feel justified in for once indulging 
our primal instincts and focusing our attention upon military 
events. It is this inevitable shifting of interest which makes 
history a subject eternally new. It must be constantly 
rewritten to fit the times in which we live. In a day when our 
government is bending every effort towards the raising of a 
mighty army, nothing could be more appropriate than the 
refreshing of our memories as to the methods used in 
assembling another army in 1861. 

Lack of preparedness for war is a constant quantity in 
American history. If, as some say, this condition were a 
sufficient guarantee of peace, the United States would have 
had no wars, for we have never been prepared. In 1861 the 
United States was as unready for war as usual. We had a 
small regular army, sixteen thousand men at the most, which 
was engaged in keeping in check the Indians along the western 
frontier. All of it was needed there. Probably the "mobili- 
zation" of enough troops to form a regiment would have been 
a hazardous undertaking. 2 In addition to the regular army 

1 Read at the stated meeting of the executive council of the Minnesota 
Historical Society, St. Paul, October 15, 1917. 

2 Less than one thousand troops were garrisoned east of the Mississippi 





. was the militia, largely under state control, unequipped, 
disorganized, and for the most part utterly useless. 

During the winter and spring of 1860-61 it became increas- 
ingly evident that the "impending conflict" was at hand. State 
after state seceded. The Star of the West, flying the flag of 
the United States, was fired on by southern batteries. Attempts 
at compromise, and at the "reconstruction of the Union," 
failed dismally. The president-elect, Abraham Lincoln, spoke 
kind but determined words. This situation did not prevent 
the federal government from maintaining a state of "masterly 
inactivity" with respect to military affairs. The people them- 
selves thought less of such things, if possible, than the govern- 
ment. The newspapers preached the "right and duty of 
coercion," but the legislatures did little to make coercion 
possible. There was much boasting, but little action. 3 Then 
on the twelfth of April came the bombardment of Sumter. 

River. Many of the inhabitants of the great eastern cities had never set 
eyes upon a company of regular soldiers. Report of the secretary of war, 
1860, in 36 Congress, 2 session, Senate Executive Documents, no. 1, 
pp. 213, 215 (serial 1079) ; Louis P. A. d'Orleans, Comte de Paris, History 
of the Civil War in America, 1 : 172 (Philadelphia, 1875). 

3 For example, an act for the reconstruction of the state militia was 
proposed in Illinois and passed the House in February, 1861. It was 
allowed to die in the Senate where the chairman of the committee which 
had the bill in charge, R. J. Oglesby, a Republican, very sagely remarked 
that should "necessity arise the whole country, having the love of the 
Union at heart, would rise en masse, and, disregarding the hindrances of 
a militia law, volunteer their services to the proper authority of the State 
speedily and without delay." "Weak-kneed" Republicans who opposed 
action of the sort contemplated in the bill disliked to do anything which 
might further excite the South and the "Egyptian" members. The debates 
of this session of the Illinois legislature make interesting reading. One 
member from "Egypt" told the Republicans that "if they wanted a fight 
they could have it without going out of the State." Another declared his 
willingness to enforce the laws of the state, but he wanted to know 
when in the last ten years the militia had been called upon for that pur- 
pose. Should the people of the South attempt to invade the North his 
constituents would oppose them "like a wall of fire," but "if the North 
were marched upon the South, her forces would be met on the prairies 
and be made to march over the dead bodies of the men who people them." 
Illinois, Senate Journal, 1861, p. 391; Chicago Tribune, January 12, 1861. 




War, so long a probability, became now an actuality, but to 
prosecute a war armies were necessary. How were these 
armies to be raised? 

The constitution of the United States gives to Congress 
the right to "raise and support armies." Under such authority 
the regular army had been created and was still maintained. 
No other army of the United States existed. Congress, and 
Congress alone, could enlarge that army or legislate a new 
army into existence. But Congress was not in session ; it could 
not be immediately assembled ; and it was then as now incapable 
of expeditious action. Naturally the administration cast about 
for other means to accomplish its purpose, or at least to serve 
as a temporary expedient. 

The expedient, for such it certainly was, the government 
found in an old militia law. The Constitution not only gives 
to Congress the right to raise armies, but it also declares that 
Congress shall have the power "to provide for calling forth 
the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insur- 
rections, and repel Invasions." Acting upon this authority, 
Congress in 1795 passed a law giving authority to the president 
to call out the militia of the several states, or any portion 
thereof, whenever such an emergency as was contemplated 
by the Constitution should arise. Certain rather formidable 
restrictions were placed upon the president's action. First, 
no militiaman could be "compelled to serve more than three 
months, after his arrival at the place of rendezvous, in any 
one year," and second, the militia so called forth might not 
be continued in service longer than "thirty days after the 
commencement of the then next session of Congress." 4 

When the news from Sumter arrived, Lincoln did the only 
thing he could do. He ordered the governors of the states 
which had not seceded to furnish him with seventy-five 

4 Article 1, section 8 of the Constitution of the United States. The 
statement of the law is positive rather than negative: "the use of militia 
so called forth may be continued, if necessary, until the expiration of 
thirty days after the commencement of the then next session of Congress." 
United States, Statutes at Large, 1 : 424. 




thousand state militia to serve for three months time. In tin- 
same proclamation he called Congress together, presumably 
with the idea of requesting the only body which had any real 
authority in the matter to make further provision for troops 
if necessary. Later on Lincoln was not at all squeamish about 
the niceties of constitutional interpretation, but in his first 
war paper he left little room for criticism on that score. He 
had back of him the Constitution, the law, and a decision of 
the Supreme Court upholding the validity of the law. Only 
an out and out secessionist like the governor of Missouri could 
say: "Your requisition, in my judgment, is illegal, unconstitu- 
tional, and revolutionary in its object, inhuman and diabolical, 
and cannot be complied with." 5 Such fine fervor, with equal 
lack of patriotism and logic, has its counterpart in certain 
present day denunciations of the conscription law. 

Uninformed critics have wasted much breath in censuring 
the administration for the lack of foresight shown in calling 
only seventy-five thousand men and specifying so short a time 
as three months. Lincoln probably did not greatly under- 
estimate the task before him. The law of 1795 explains why 
the term of service was to be for no longer than three months, 
and, apart from other considerations, the absence of a really 
effective state militia shows why a call for more than seventy- 
five thousand such troops would have appeared preposterous. 

5 In deciding the case of Martin v. Mott, February 2, 1827, Justice 
Story had declared in no uncertain terms that the constitutionality of the 
law of 1795 was not open to question, and that the "authority to decide 
whether the exigency has arisen, belongs exclusively to the President, and 
that his decision is conclusive upon all other persons." 12 YVhcaton, 30. 
For the answers to the president's proclamation given by slave state gov- 
ernors see James Ford Rhodes, History of the United States from the 
Compromise of 1850, 3:393 (New York, 1895), and John G. Nicolay and 
John Hay, Abraham Lincoln, a History, 4:90 (New York, 1890). The 
president's proclamation calling Congress into session and requisitioning 
troops, together with other interesting documents relative thereto, may 
be found in the American Annual Cyclopaedia and Register of Important 
Events, 1861, pp. 715. A table showing the quotas assigned to each state 
is given in The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official 
Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, serial 122, p. 69. 




On paper, the militia system of the United States furnished 
the nation with a formidable army. The Constitution author- 
ized Congress "to provide for organizing, arming, and 
disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of 
them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, 
reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the 
Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according 
to the discipline prescribed by Congress." By an act passed 
in 1792 and subsequently amended, Congress sought to carry 
out the intent of the Constitution. All male citizens between 
the ages of eighteen and forty-five years were to be enrolled 
by the several states and held liable for service. An adjutant 
general in each state, in practice appointed by the governor, 
was to have supervision over military affairs within his terri- 
tory. Nothing was done, however, to prevent the various 
state legislatures from elaborating upon the federal law as 
they saw fit. The result was that in nearly all the states there 
were constructed impressive paper organizations, always based 
upon the principle of universal enrollment, but differing widely 
as to details, and useful chiefly as a means of furnishing 
flattering statistics for a people not then noted for its modesty. 6 

Ignoring its statistical value, the militia system was suited 
at best only to the day "when every man's cabin was his 
fortress." For most of America that day had passed. Minne- 
sota, owing to its proximity to the Indian frontier, should 
have had an effective militia if such a thing were possible 
anywhere. Yet the adjutant general in his report for 1861 
deplored the "present weakness of the military force, as well 
as the absolute inefficiency of the Militia system of our State." 
According to a law of 1858 the state possessed six divisions, 

6 Article 1, section 8 of the Constitution; Statutes at Large, 1 : 271-274. 
The Minnesota militia law, which is fairly typical, may be found in Min- 
nesota, General Laws, 1858, pp. 232-254. The paper strength of the total 
militia of the United States was rated by the secretary of war in 1861 as 
3,167,936. "Returns of Militia," in 36 Congress, 2 session, House Executive 
Documents, no. 53, p. 5 (serial 1100). 




twelve brigades, twenty-eight regiments — in all, 24,389 
citizens enrolled for military duty. Actually, Minnesota could 
count on the services of one hundred and forty-seven officers, 
and about two hundred men. That even this small number 
could be made available was due to the custom, common to 
most of the states, of recognizing a few volunteer companies, 
who uniformed themselves and drilled at their own discretion, 
entirely without compensation. 7 Arms, distributed by the 
federal government to the several states, were generally 
provided for well-organized companies, but all too frequently, 
as interest in the organization flagged, these arms were lost 
or were allowed to deteriorate through lack of care. On the 
sixteenth of April, 1861, when the first call for troops was 
made in Minnesota, the remnants of only eight volunteer 
militia companies could be detected by the state adjutant 
general, and these were most imperfectly equipped. Nor was 
Minnesota far below the average in military efficiency. 8 

7 During the years from 1856 to 1860 there had been a lively interest 
in militia companies. Possibly this had been awakened by the events of 
the Crimean War and the lack of preparedness which had characterized 
England's participation in it. Nearly every American city of any size 
had its militia company, gorgeously arrayed, and drilled to perform all 
sorts of spectacular feats. Chicago prided herself especially upon a com- 
pany of "Zouaves" which had been organized in 1856 and under Captain 
E. Elmer Ellsworth had attained rare efficiency. The interest in military 
drill seems to have died down with the rise of the more lively sports, such 
as baseball, but as late as 1860 Ellsworth's Zouaves made a tour of the 
country, arousing great enthusiasm wherever they went. The company 
was disbanded in October, 1860, when its leader left Chicago. Ellsworth 
will be remembered as the first Union officer to be killed in the war. 
J. Seymour Currey, Chicago: Its History and Its Builders, 2:32-35, 113 
(Chicago, 1912). The "Wide Awakes" and the "Little Giants," respec- 
tively Republican and Democratic marching clubs, were another manifesta- 
tion of this same enthusiasm. Both organizations existed in St. Paul and 
were of material assistance to the government when the war broke out. 
J. Fletcher Williams, History of the City of Saint Paul and the County 
of Ramsey, 396 (M. H. C. vol. 4) ; Daily Pioneer and Democrat (St. Paul) 
June 12, 1861 ; Saint Paul Daily Press, August 18, 1861. 

8 Statutes at Large, 2:490; 10:639; Adjutant General, Reports, 1862, 
p. 231. According to its governor, the state of Illinois, whose population 
was ten times as great as that of Minnesota, had less than eight hundred 




In each of the loyal states the War Department orders to 
"detach" from the local militia its proportionate share of the 
seventy-five thousand troops called out was received as an 
amiable legal fiction, and recruiting was begun. To all intents 
and purposes, Lincoln had called for volunteers, but his action 
made the states individually responsible for the raising of the 
quotas assigned to them and relieved the federal government 
entirely of this burden. In every northern state this responsi- 
bility was assumed without the slightest hesitation. What 
happened in Minnesota may be taken as typical of what was 
going on elsewhere. 

,When the Civil War broke out, Minnesota was one of the 
youngest states of the Union. Admitted in 1858, the new 
commonwealth had by 1860 a population of about 172,000, 
which a year later, residents confidently agreed, had grown to 
at least 200,000. St. Paul, at the head of the navigation on 
the Mississippi River, was the largest town in the state. It 
boasted some 10,000 inhabitants, nearly half of whom were 
foreign born. It had two daily papers. Railroads there were 
none; connections with eastern lines were made by way of 
steam-boats to La Crosse and Prairie du Chien. Other 
evidences of frontier conditions are not hard to find. One 
summer day in 1861 the St. Paul Daily Press complained that 
"about a hundred men (?) and half-grown boys went out on 
Wabashaw Street Hill yesterday afternoon to witness a dog 
fight. The police did not learn of it in time to break it up." 
A correspondent wrote to the same paper a few days later 
that "our old acquaintances, the Winnebagoes, were thick in 
the streets of Mankato while we were there. Their reserva- 
tion ... is within a few miles of the town ; and when they 
get hold of whiskey . . . they are very troublesome to the 

uniformed militia. Illinois, Senate Journal, 1861, p. 26. Massachusetts, 
with possibly five thousand effective militia, was better prepared to meet 
Lincoln's call than any other state. Annual Cyclopaedia, 1861, p. 451 ; 
Rhodes, United States, 3:362; James Schouler, History of the United 
States, 6:42 (New York, 1899). 



inhabitants." Agriculture, lumbering, and fur-trading w ere t he- 
sources of practically all the wealth the state possessed. 

The governor of Minnesota, Alexander Ramsey, chanced to 
be in Washington when the news from Sumter arrived. 1 Ee at 
once hastened to the war department and offered a thousand 
men from Minnesota for the defence of the government, the 
first tender of troops from any quarter after the fall of the 
Charleston fortress made war an accomplished fact. On the 
fifteenth of April the president's proclamation was published, 
assigning as Minnesota's quota in the new army a regiment 
of not less than 780 men. On the sixteenth, Ignatius Donnelly, 
as acting governor, issued the call. Troops were to l>e 
accepted only by companies, and the preference was given to 
the eight volunteer militia organizations supposedly in exist- 
ence, provided they could recruit to minimum strength within 
ten days. With this exception, companies were to be received 
in the order offered, and to take rank accordingly. 10 

The scenes which so recently marked the entrance of the 
United States into the World War make it easy for us to 
picture what happened in April, 1861. The St. Paul flag 
supply was exhausted. Democratic newspapers headed their 
columns with Decatur's words : "Our Country, May it ever 

9 United States Census, 1860, volume on population, 253, 259, 261. In 
his message to the legislature, January, 1862, Governor Ramsey claimed 
200,000 inhabitants for the state. Executive Documents, 1861, p. 4. The 
population of Ramsey County is listed by the census of 1860 as 6,641 
native born, and 5,509 foreign born. The proportion of people in the 
state speaking foreign languages is suggested by a resolution introduced 
in the state senate in January, 1861, which proposed the printing of copies 
of the governor's message, three thousand in English, one thousand in 
German, and five hundred in Norwegian. Some house members wished 
to add five hundred in Swedish and five hundred in French. Senate 
Journal, 1861, p. 42; House Journal, 1861, p. 45; Pioneer and Democrat, 
January 11, 15, 1862. A good description of Minnesota society during this 
period is to be found in Joseph G. Pyle, Life of James J. Hill, 1 : 24 28 
(New York, 1917). See also St. Paul Press, June 5, 8, 1861. 

10 Rebellion Records, serial 122, p. 67; governor's message, in January, 
1862, Executive Documents, 1861, p. 26; Adjutant General, Reports, 1862, 
p. 231 ; St. Paul Press, April 18, 1861. 




be Right; but Right or Wrong, Our Country." Preachers 
took patriotic texts and expounded them to audiences for once 
attentive. Mass meetings were called in every village. All 
this happened with the greatest spontaneity. In one respect, at 
least, the demonstrations differed markedly from those of 
April, 1917; people had an immediate object, namely, the 
raising of an assigned quota of volunteers. Speakers pointed 
out this duty with emphasis. Sometimes a roll was opened 
after a meeting, and all who wished to form themselves into a 
company of volunteers inscribed on it their names. The officers 
of the old militia companies made strenuous efforts to recruit 
their commands to full strength before the ten days allowed 
for this purpose should expire. Captain Alexander Wilkin of 
the Pioneer Guards, St. Paul's crack militia company, adver- 
tised for "able bodied men between the ages of eighteen and 
forty-five ... to enroll their names at J. C. Becht's Saloon, 
Third street, without delay." The state adjutant general 
received names in his office for a company of St. Paul volun- 
teers and was later rewarded by the captaincy of the company. 
This activity was distributed evenly throughout the state. St. 
Anthony and Minneapolis threatened to raise two or three 
companies, and the St. Charles Hotel announced that owing to 
the fact that all the able bodied men among its employes "to 
the number of seven have enlisted for the wars, the hotel will 
probably be closed in a few days." April 22, six volunteers 
arrived in St. Paul from Pine Bend, "a village of only fifteen 
families," too small to recruit a company of its own. When 
the ten days had expired, it was found that three of the old 
militia companies were ready for service and that eleven new 
volunteer companies, representing nearly every part of the 
state, had been formed. If only a little more time could have 
been allowed, many others would have been ready. 11 

11 Pioneer and Democrat, April 17, 19, 28, 1861 ; St. Paul Press, April 
18, 21, 23, 1861; North field Telegraph, May 1, 1861; Adjutant General, 
Reports, 1862, p. 82. General Grant gives an interesting description of 
these activities in his home town in Illinois. When the news from Sumter 




The instructions from Washington were that the Minnesota 
regiment should be prepared to receive marching orders by 
the tenth of May. In the meantime, the troops were to 
rendezvous at St. Paul, where they should complete their 
organization. On the twenty-seventh of April, the adjutant 
general announced the ten lucky companies chosen to form 
the First Minnesota, and since no suitable quarters could be 
found in St. Paul, he ordered them to report as speedily as 
possible at Fort Snelling. This plan met with universal 
approval. The fort was described as "an old military post at 
the confluence of the Minnesota river with the Mississippi, six 
miles above St. Paul." In Indian times it had been one of the 
great strategic points of the northwest, but the advance of 
civilization had made its abandonment possible. In 1861 it 
was in the hands of civilians, but the officers' quarters, bar- 
racks, and other buildings were reported to be in a good state 
of repair, and ready for occupation once more by an armed 
body of men. It became the rendezvous and drill ground for 
all the troops which Minnesota subsequently furnished for 
the war. 12 

The regiment was assembled and organized with amazing 
rapidity. On the twenty-seventh, three companies came up 

was received at Galena, followed by the call for volunteers, posters were 
stuck up calling for a mass meeting at the court house in the evening. 
Grant presided. Patriotic speeches were made by Democrats and Repub- 
licans alike. After the speaking was over volunteers were called for to 
form a company. The company was raised and the officers elected on 
the spot. Grant declined the captaincy, but announced that he would aid 
the company in every way possible. Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs, 
1 : 230-231 (New York, 1885). This account differs in no essential respect 
from the story of the organization of the Red Wing company given in Jos- 
eph W. Hancock, Goodhue County, Minnesota, Past and Present, 141 (Red 
Wing, 1893). Both are typical of what happened in the smaller towns 
and villages of the North. 

12 Adjutant General, Reports, 1862, pp. 82, 231; St. Paul Press, April 
30, 1861. See also General Richard W. Johnson, "Fort Snelling from 
its Foundation to the Present Time," in Minnesota Historical Collections, 
8 : 427-448, and Marcus L. Hansen, Old Port Snelling (Iozva and War, 
no. 1, July, 1917). 




the river, one each from Faribault, Red Wing, and Hastings, 
and were quartered in the city over Sunday. By Monday, 
April 29, every company was on hand, the Stars and Stripes 
once again appeared on the flagstaff at Fort Snelling, and 
mustering-in by an officer of the United States Army was 
begun. During the latter ceremony a surgeon was present, 
but physical examinations were not rigorous. Only a few 
men were rejected. By April 30 the organization was com- 
plete. In the selection of officers the militia law of Minnesota 
was supposed to govern. This gave the governor the right 
to appoint all commissioned officers, but in practice companies 
elected their own officers, who were then commissioned by the 
governor. The captains appointed the "non-coms," and the 
governor appointed the field officers, consisting of a colonel, 
lieutenant colonel, and major. From the roll of lieutenants 
the colonel then appointed the adjutant. The selection of 
ex-Governor ,Willis A. Gorman, a veteran of the Mexican War, 
as colonel of the First Regiment was favorably received, and 
drill was immediately begun. 13 

Minnesota had been asked for a regiment of 780 men. 
Within two weeks' time she had ready nearly a thousand, and 
everyone knew that as many more could have been obtained 
for the asking. Nor had the loyal section of the country as 
a whole been less generous. In spite of the failure of several 
border states to cooperate, the call for 75,000 men produced 
a total of 98,235, and the loyal governors literally deluged 
Washington with telegrams asking permission to receive more 
troops. If Lincoln had had any doubt as to the willingness 
of the country to support him in the stand he had taken, these 
doubts were now allayed. Realizing the seriousness of the 

13 April 30, Governor Ramsey sent word to Washington that one regi- 
ment of nine hundred men was ready for service. Rebellion Records, 
serial 122, p. 138; St. Paul Press, April 25, 30, 1861; Minnesota, General 
Laws, 1858, p. 233 ; Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars, 1861-1865, 
1:3 (2d edition, St. Paul, 1891). For a more extended account see 
History of the First Regiment Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, 1861-1864 
(Stillwater, 1916). 




approaching struggle, the administration therefore decided to 
make more adequate preparations. Before the end of April 
word had been given out that no more three months troops 
would be accepted, and on the third of May the president issued 
a proclamation calling for 42,034 volunteers for three years 
or during the war, 22,714 additional men for the regular army, 
and 18,000 seamen to be used in making the blockade of the 
southern coast effective. All this the president did with- 
out the slightest authority of law. He was evidently convinced 
that his action was demanded by the exigency of the situation, 
and that the hearty response of the people to his initial call 
warranted him in disregarding the lack of legal or constitu- 
tional authority. Congress alone had the right to raise armies, 
and the extra-constitutionality of his action Lincoln in effect 
admitted when he promised that the "call for volunteers 
hereby made, and the direction for the increase of the regular 
army and for the enlistment of seamen, hereby given, together 
with the plan of organization adopted for the volunteers and 
for the regular forces hereby authorized, will be submitted 
to Congress as soon as assembled." He knew that this work 
ought not to be longer delayed if the Union were to be pre- 
served. 14 

The plan for the new volunteer army was set forth in 
General Orders number 15 of the war department, 10 and 

14 Nicolay and Hay, Abraham Lincoln, 4:86, 255; 7:8 note; Rhodes, 
United States, 3 : 438. Lincoln's proclamation of May 3, authorizing the 
army and navy increases, may be found in Abraham Lincoln, Com ['Lie 
Works, 6 : 263-265 (Nicolay and Hay edition, New York, 1894). "These 
measures," said Lincoln, "whether strictly legal or not, were ventured 
upon, under what appeared to be a popular demand, and a public neces- 
sity; trusting then, as now, that Congress would readily ratify them." 
Message of July, 1861, in 37 Congress, 1 session, Senate Executive Docu- 
ments, no. 1, p. 9 (serial 1112). Congress later confirmed Lincoln in what 
he had done, but with manifest reluctance. Statutes at Large, 12:326; 
Congressional Globe, 37 Congress, 1 session, p. 392. 

15 Printed in full in Rebellion Records, serial 122, pp. 151-154, and in 
the Pioneer and Democrat, May 18, 1861. In the call for state militia 
the president had been under the necessity of accepting state appointments 
for general as well as regimental officers. These could be assigned only 




endured, with slight variations, throughout the war. Pressure 
of business in the office of the secretary of war had thrown to 
the treasury department the task of drawing up the system of < 
organization, and the imprint upon it of Secretary Chase, a I ; 
former Democrat of states' rights proclivities, can be plainly i 
discerned. Under his direction an informal committee of three 
army officers worked out the details. The most important 
result of their deliberations was the decision to take every 
advantage of state cooperation. A plan for a distinctly 
national army, using the congressional districts as the unit for 
recruitment, was rejected. Instead, the governors were given 
authority to commission officers up to and including the grade 
of colonel, regiments were to be raised by, and to bear the name 
of, their respective states, and only the appointment of the 
general officers and the disposal of the troops, once they were 
mustered into service, were left to the president. As one 
writer puts it : "The Government sought to save the Union 
by fighting as a Confederacy." 16 

to the more populous states, and obviously under such a system many 
difficulties were sure to arise. The necessity of federal appointment of 
the higher officers was not open to question. In the new army each divi- 
sion, under the command of a major general, was to consist of about 
fourteen thousand men organized into three or more brigades. Four 
regiments ordinarily made a brigade, and ten companies a regiment. The 
companies had, besides nineteen officers, a minimum of sixty-four and 
a maximum of eighty-two privates. Brigades and divisions were not 
necessarily composed of men from the same state and in practice were | 
formed of almost as diverse elements as the "rainbow" divisions of the 
national guard with which we are now familiar. 

16 Emory Upton, The Military Policy of the United States, 233-235, 
275 (Washington, 1912). General Upton goes on to show that the methods 
of North and South in conducting the war were diametrically opposed. 
The North made use of state initiative, the South sought to overthrow 
the national government by fighting as a nation. "The Government recog- 
nized the States, appealed to them for troops, adhered to voluntary enlist- 
ments, gave the governors power to appoint all commissioned officers and 
encouraged them to organize new regiments. The Confederates aban- 
doned State sovereignty, appealed directly to the people, took away from 
them [the governors] the power to appoint commissioned officers, vested 
their appointment in the Confederate President, refused to organize war 
regiments, abandoned voluntary enlistments, and adopting the republican 




There was as little delay as possible about putting the new 
system into operation. Some of the three months troops were 
already in active service and were allowed to finish out the 
term for which they had enlisted. But, whenever possible, the 
state militia in the national service was reorganized in con- 
formity with General Orders number 15. In Minnesota this 
could be accomplished without difficulty. The secretary of 
war sent word that all men who were willing should be reen- 
listed for three years, and that all others should be mustered 
out. In conformity with these orders, about three hundred 
and fifty men who refused to enlist for the lengthened term 
were promptly discharged, and recruits were sought to fill the 
ranks. Within three weeks after the president's second call, 
the regiment was again at maximum strength. 17 

In no part of the country did the lengthened term of service 
noticeably reduce the enlistment fever. Possibly in defiance 
of the Constitution, certainly without authority of law, and 
frequently over the orders of the war department, dozens of 
regiments literally forced their way into the federal service. 
Before Congress could assemble on the fourth of July to ratify 
what had been done, the army of the United States had swollen 
to a total of 310,000 men. The defeat at Bull Run on the 
twenty-first of July added further impetus to the work. Next 
day Congress authorized an army of 500,000 men to be 

principle that every citizen owes his country military service, called into 
the army every white man between the ages of 18 and 35." 

17 Adjutant General, Reports, 1862, p. 83; Rebellion Records, serial 122, 
p. 161; St. Paul Press, May 11, 14, 1861; Press and Democrat, May 12, 
15, 1861. The three months' troops of some of the states could not be 
induced to reenlist. On May 28, 1861, the six regiments which Illinois 
had put into the field were given an opportunity by presidential proclama- 
tion to enter the three years' service. No regiment was to be received 
in which more than one-fifth of the men declined to rcvolunteer. In case 
of regiments received, the men who had not revolunteered were to be 
mustered out at once. Regiments which declined to offer themselves for 
the longer term were to remain in service until the three months for 
which they had enlisted should expire. Not one of the Illinois regiments 
reenlisted under the terms offered. Weekly Illinois State Journal 
(Springfield), June 5, 1861. 




organized in accordance with the principles laid down by the 
war department, and Lincoln, thus legally fortified, called for 
300,000 more volunteers. By the end of the year the federal 
army numbered 687,000 men. 18 

In the raising of this great army Minnesota played an 
entirely creditable part. Before the end of the year, the aggre- 
gate of troops furnished by the state, as given by the adjutant 
general, was 4,400, a number greater than the entire popula- 
tion of Minnesota in 1850, and more than equal to the quota 
assigned. It must not be forgotten that all this took place 
with the minimum 1 of assistance from the central government. 
For months the only direct representative of the United States 
in Minnesota associated with the raising of the army was the 
mustering officer, a captain of the regular army, who formally 
accepted the troops when the state had them ready. No 
responsibility which the state could assume was taken by the 
general government. This division of labor was fortunate. 
Without the energetic and effective intervention of the states, 
it is difficult to see how the war could have been won. 19 

Many governors, finding themselves overwhelmed with 
difficulties, called their legislatures into special session and 
unloaded upon them a part of the work. Such, for example, 
was the course which Governor Yates of Illinois adopted with 
excellent results. The Illinois legislature left nothing undone 

18 Reports of the secretary of war, July and December, 1861, in 37 
Congress, 1 session, Senate Executive Documents, no. 1, p. 21 (serial 
1112), and 37 Congress, 2 session, Senate Executive Documents, no. 1, 
p. 3 (serial 1118) ; Rhodes, United States, 3:360; Ida M. Tarbell, Abra- 
ham Lincoln, 2:42 (New York, 1900). 

19 Governor's message, January, 1862, in Executive Documents, 1861, 
p. 27; Adjutant General, Reports, 1862, p. 86. See also correspondence of 
Minnesota state officials and the war department in Rebellion Records, 
serial 122, pp. 467-469, 528, 533, 569, 587, 592, 593, 604, 727. Not every 
state raised the required number of troops so promptly as Minnesota. The 
St. Paul Press pointed out, November 27, 1861, that Ohio with a quota 
of 61,000 men had raised not more than 45,000, and that New Jersey with 
a quota of 17,420 men had only 9,000 under arms. Few states could equal 
the record of Illinois, which by the end of November had raised 46,000 
men, when her quota was only 44,400. 




to place the state on a warlike footing. Ten regiments, one 
from each congressional district, and one additional, were 
authorized, to be held in reserve pending a presidential call. 
As soon as raised, these troops were sent to camps fitted out 
at state expense and were paid the same wages as soldiers 
accepted by the federal government. To cover the cost of this 
proposition an appropriation of a million dollars was made ; 
half a million more was to be used for the purchase of arms 
and to build a powder magazine, and another two millions was 
set aside for general purposes of state defence and national 
aid. 20 

That the cooperation of the Minnesota legislature was not 
immediately sought by the governor was due mainly to the pov- 
erty of the new state. While in Washington, Governor Ramsey 
explained to the secretary of war that Minnesota finances were 
in a somewhat critical condition and asked that the general 
government furnish the necessary clothing, arms, and equip- 
ment. This proposition was readily agreed to. Inasmuch as 
it was proposed in any event to reimburse the states out of the 
federal treasury for their war expenditures, the assistance 
which the Minnesota legislature might have given would have 
been only in the nature of a temporary loan. Moreover, the 
older states had full treasuries and abundant credit and could 
afford to advance the funds necessary to put their troops in the 
field. "But it would have been folly," the Governor explained, 
"for a State like ours, with a barren treasury, to have emulated 
the example of New York or Pennsylvania. If the Legislature 
had been convoked in extra session for this purpose, the 
required sum could only have been raised by the issue of bonds 
or treasury warrants, at a great sacrifice ; and, without resulting 
in any substantial benefit to the Government, would have 
entailed a large addition to our own embarrassment." 21 

20 Illinois, Session Laws, special session, 1861, pp. 10-30; Pioneer and 
Democrat, May 7, 1861. 

21 Governor's message, January, 1862, in Executive Documents, 1861, 
p. 26; also printed in the Pioneer and Democrat, January 10, 1862. The 




While Minnesota thus sought to rely more upon national 
assistance than some of the other states, it does not follow 
that the expected aid was immediately forthcoming. The 
adjutant general and other interested officials were often at | 
their wit's ends to know what course to pursue. Individual 
initiative, coupled with a spirit of patriotic cooperation, made 
possible what often appeared to be hopeless tasks. 

The mere raising of men was no easy matter. June 12, 
1861, the federal government announced that a second regi- 
ment would be accepted. Five companies were mustered in 
within a week, but the rest were obtained only slowly. Along 
the frontier were three forts, Ridgley, Ripley, and Aber- 
crombie, where small garrisons were always kept to insure the 
safety of the outlying settlements in case of Indian uprisings. 
In the first days of the war the regular troops which had been 
stationed at these posts were recalled, and Minnesota volun- 
teers were ordered to take their places, a most unwelcome 
task. It became the custom to make each new regiment serve 
an apprenticeship of this sort. Before the battle of Bull Run 
the North looked forward to speedy victory, and it therefore 
seemed at this time that enlistment for residents of Minnesota 
meant only garrison duty. If the regiment were ordered to 
the seat of war, one paper declared, it would be filled within 
twenty-four hours, but men were loath to spend their summer 
at the forts. The fact that the harvest season was at hand 
also slowed down enlistments, while the complaints of poor 
equipment and mistreatment on the part of members of the 
First Minnesota, who were getting their first taste of real 
soldiering, may have been a further deterrent. The battle of 
Bull Run brought an urgent request for the filling of the 
regiment, but not until the harvest and heavy working season 
was over did the recruiting become brisk enough to bring the 

course of the governor in avoiding an extra session is defended in the 
St. Paul Press, June 28, 1861. It is vigorously assailed in the Pioneer and 
Democrat, June 18, 22, 1861. 




Second Regiment to maximum strength. In October it was 
ordered to the front. 22 

The calls now came thick and fast. Two more regiments 
were apportioned to Minnesota by a dispatch of the secretary 
of war to the governor, dated September 17. A fifth regiment 
was authorized December 5, and at various times one company 
of sharpshooters, one battery of artillery, and three companies 
of light cavalry were accepted. 23 

Two steps were necessary whenever it was decided to 
enlarge the number of volunteers. In the first place, the presi- 
dent was required to issue a proclamation stating the number 
of troops desired and the states from which they were to be 
furnished. In any such requisition he was expected to take 
into consideration the number of men previously furnished by 
each state, as well as "the exigencies of the service at the 
time," and to equalize so far as practicable the quotas assigned. 
The second step in the process was for the governor to publish 
the president's call, asking for volunteers from the state at 
large. No effort was made, as a rule, to equalize the quotas 
among the various counties or sections within the state, but 
those first offering themselves were first accepted, and so on, 

22 Adjutant General, Reports, 1862, pp. 84, 238; Minnesota State News 
(Minneapolis), July 13, 1861; St. Paul Press, July 16, August 8, 1861. 
When several companies of the First Minnesota were ordered to the 
frontier resolutions were addressed to the governor stating that the regi- 
ment was tendered for immediate service "to vindicate the laws, retake 
the forts and property of . . . the Government . . . and to 
permanently establish the Union of the States." Home Guards, it was 
contended, should have been organized to protect the frontier. Never- 
theless, orders had to be obeyed, and several companies headed toward 
the forts. They were almost immediately recalled, however, and it is to 
be doubted if any regiment from the state saw more strenuous service 
than did the First Minnesota. Pioneer and Democrat, May 9, 1861. The 
efforts of the governor to secure the acceptance of the First Minnesota 
for service at the front appear in Rebellion Records, serial 122, pp. 229, 
268, 270, 272. 

2 3 Adjutant General, Reports, 1862, pp. 84, 248; St Paul Press, Sep- 
tember 19, 1861. A full statement of troops furnished down to that date 
is given in a dispatch to the secretary of war dated January 17, 1862, in 
Rebellion Records, serial 122, p. 802. 



until the required number was obtained. It can readily be 
seen that the success of this system depended wholly upon the 
popular response. The president might have called upon the 
governors in vain for troops had not the people of each state 
rallied to the support of their respective executives. 24 

In Minnesota, as elsewhere, whenever a call for troops was 
received, a proclamation was issued by the governor through 
the office of the adjutant general, setting forth exactly what 
was expected of the state. Although this proclamation was 
important news, to insure its prompt and full publication, 
Minnesota newspapers were generally authorized to give it two 
insertions at state expense. Following the call, it was expected 
that public meetings would be held in each locality to stimulate 
enlistments and, if possible, to start a muster roll. Although 
there was occasional talk of the need of more systematic effort 
to encourage enlistment, patriotic individuals sufficient to see 
that this work was done were rarely lacking. Neither in state 
nor nation did America possess a bureaucracy upon which 
such extraordinary labor could be thrust, hence, volunteers 
for recruiting service were as essential as volunteers to fill the 
ranks themselves. This was especially true in view of the 
fact that no one looked for the men to offer their services 
directly to the state. They were first expected to organize 
themselves into companies, and only with this larger unit did 
the state have time to deal. Obviously such a policy would 
never have worked without adequate voluntary leadership. 25 

It was essential, then, that prominent individuals in each 
locality should shoulder the task of raising companies, or parts 

24 Statutes at Large, 12 : 268. The adjutant general of Iowa saw no 
reason why the counties should not be compelled to fill their quotas and 
went so far as to propose a state draft to fill the national quotas. The 
boards of supervisors of the various counties according to this plan were 
to report the names and residences of all able-bodied men liable to military 
duty, and from these lists deficiencies were to be made up. Iowa, Adju- 
tant General, Reports, 1861, p. 8; St Paul Press, September 28, 1861. 

25 St. Paul Press, September 19, 25, 1861 ; Comte de Paris, Civil War, 
1 : 173. 




of companies. Generally such an individual could feel certain 
that he would be rewarded by a commission, and thus ambi- 
tion was added to the incentive of patriotism. There was 
considerable complaint about the ''tricks, palaver and 'soft 
soap' of the political candidate." One outraged recruit 
declared that "the misrepresentations, lies and impositions 
that were practiced by some of those who were working- for 
recruits, in order that they might become officers in some of 
the companies, would cause Ananias, the patron saint of liars, 
to blush for shame. 'Enlist in my company and I will make 
you orderly sergeant or sergeant or corporal, musician or 
company clerk !' " The worst of it was that the offices were 
limited in number, while the promises frequently were not. 
Officers sometimes entered upon their duties with small repu- 
tation for truth and veracity. "But they seemed to care 
nothing for that. They had got in ; donned their shoulder 
straps, 'old cheese knives,' and were ready to be respected and 
obeyed accordingly." 26 This, however, is only one side of the 
story. The prospective officers assumed grave responsibilities. 
Frequently they had to bear the cost of elaborate advertising, 
of transportation, and even of subsistence, pending the 
acceptance of their men. They must abandon their business 
and devote themselves unreservedly to the task of recruiting. 
If their companies were not immediately accepted, they must 
nevertheless maintain the organization and do what they could 
to perfect the drill. But for the efforts of the individuals w h o 
became company officers, Minnesota, at least, could never have 
filled her quotas. 27 

26 Alonzo L. Brown, History of the Fourth Regiment of Minnesota 
Infantry Volunteers during the Great Rebellion, 1861-1865, 21 (St. Paul, 

27 Adjutant General, Reports, 1862, p. 233; St. Paul Press, September 
22, 1861. In the more populous states men of sufficient means and influ- 
ence undertook the raising of whole regiments and even brigades. The 
governors would frequently promise to any so disposed the command of 
the troops they raised. Sometimes, also, in the early months of the war, 
such regiments were accepted directly by the federal government, but 
this led to such confusion in the assignment of quotas and commissions 




The opportunity to enlist along with his acquaintances in a 
company raised almost entirely in his own town and officered 
by his friends appealed strongly to the average recruit. How 
great a difference this made in the number of volunteers, may 
be estimated by a comparison with the number of recruits 
obtained for the regular army. Only about forty thousand 
men were to be raised for the regular service in the whole 
country, but by the end of 1861 that number had not been 
reached by fully one-half. During the same time more than 
six hundred thousand men entered the volunteer army. 
Recruiting officers for the regular army were maintained both 
in St. Paul and in Minneapolis, but almost the only mention 
they received concerned their lack of success. While other 
considerations undoubtedly contributed to the unpopularity of 
the regular army, the chief reason for its failure to fill its ranks 
was that it offered no opportunity for men who knew each 
other to enlist together. 28 

Among the colleges of the North the appeal of enlistment 
by groups had the same effect in 1861 as it has had to-day. 
The organization of numerous hospital and ambulance units 
from the ranks of college students, which we have witnessed 
during the last few months, has met with such extraordinary 
success, not because college men are predisposed towards any 
such service, but because there is no other way in which they 
can keep their group identity. Had the orders come for enlist- 
ment by companies in infantry, or artillery, or cavalry, or 
marine corps, or naval reserves, the response would have been 
the same. In 1861, Hamline University, then located at Red 
Wing, Minnesota, was the most pretentious institution of 

that the practice was speedily discontinued. Colonel D. A. Robertson, in 
command of the Twenty-third Regiment of Minnesota Militia, made 
strenuous efforts to raise a complete regiment in Minnesota. St. Paul 
Press, May 5, 10, 18, June 12, 1861 ; Pioneer and Democrat, June 14, 1861 ; 
Rebellion Records, serial 122, p. 200. 

28 Report of the secretary of war, December, 1861, in 37 Congress, 
2 session, Senate Executive Documents, no. 1, pp. 4, 10 (serial 1118) ; 
St. Paul Press, November 26, December 10, 1861. See also Upton, Military 
Policy, 235-238, and Comte de Paris, Civil War, 1 : 288. 




higher learning in the state. It furnished one-fifth of Goodhue 
County's first company. In 1862, Professor H. B. Wilson, 
together with a full company of Hamline students, enlisted 
in the Sixth Minnesota. Three successive senior classes were 
broken up by enlistments, and during the war the institution 
sent a total of 119 of its students to the front — practically 
every available man. 29 The record of this Minnesota college 
is typical of the colleges throughout the North. 

Citizens of foreign birth, especially the Germans and Irish, 
ordinarily formed themselves into separate companies. The 
resolutions of some of the German mass meetings make even 
more interesting reading to-day than they did in 1861. One 
enthusiastic St. Paul gathering on the evening of April 22 
declared that : 

Whereas, an aristocratic party has by revolutionary means, 
usurped the government of some of the slaveholding states, and 
taken forcible possession of the United States property, and 
threatens not only to put an end to the rights of freemen, which 
are guaranteed to all citizens by the Constitution, but also to open 
a new home to the dying out despotisms of Europe on the free 
soil of North America, it is, 

Resolved, That the Germanborn citizens of St. Paul, will, till 
our last breath, remain true to our oaths, and will support the 
Constitution of the United States. 

Measures taken at this meeting resulted in the speedy organ- 

29 William C. Rice, "Hamline Always Loyal," in Hamline University, 
Alumni Quarterly, vol. 14:7 (October, 1917). Divinity students did not 
then plead exemption, for many of the Hamline men were candidates 
for the Methodist ministry. "The Red Wing company," says the Pioneer 
and Democrat of May 23, 1861, "are models in some respects. About half 
of them are tetotalers, and the same proportion members of churches. 
They hold a prayer meeting in their quarters every evening." After the 
battle of Bull Run in which the First Minnesota stood and fought, while 
many other regiments ran away, and during which four Hamline students, 
among others, were killed or captured, the St. Paul Press gave space to 
the following: "The boys from Hamline University will be remembered 
for their soldierly bearing, their prayer meetings at Fort Snelling, their 
bravery on the field of battle, and their terrible loss in the first conflict." 
St. Paul Press, August 7, 1861. See also the issue of December 19, 1861. 




ization of a German military company. Nor is this the only 
instance of the kind on record. Similar companies were 
formed throughout the state. The military training which 
most of the Germans had received before coming to America 
made their services particularly desirable. A company of 
veteran Germans constituted the first cavalry offered by 
Minnesota for the war. 30 

Although the organization of an Irish company was pro- 
jected in St. Paul within a few days after the fall of Sumter, 
it must be admitted that, as a whole, the Irish volunteered 
less readily than the Germans. Towards the end of the year 
steps were taken to remedy this situation. In December, 1861, 
in response to the desires of Irish citizens, the Fifth Minnesota 
regiment was authorized. Volunteers for this regiment were 
not confined to any one nationality, but it was understood that 
the Irish had the right of way. "Irish fellow countrymen to 
arms !" ran one advertisement, "Now is the time to stand by 
the Stars and Stripes, and help to preserve the Union ! Every 
loyal State has sent forth an Irish regiment : shall Minnesota 
be an only exception?" By the spring of 1862, the regiment, 
unmistakably Irish in flavor, was ready for service. 3 1 

30 Pioneer and Democrat, April 24, 1861; Adjutant General, Reports, 
1862, p. 240; Rebellion Records, serial 122, pp. 394, 457, 461; St. Paul 
Press, September 29, 1861 ; Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars, 
1 : 572-584. 

31 Adjutant General, Reports, 1862, p. 248; Pioneer and Democrat, 
April 26, 27, 1861; St. Paul Press, December 6, 24, 1861. One of the 
reasons advanced for the organization of an all-Irish regiment was the 
reasonable expectation that a chaplain of the Roman Catholic faith would 
be appointed. The law of Congress of July 22, 1861, provided that "there 
shall be allowed to each regiment one chaplain, who shall be appointed 
by the regimental commander on the vote of the field officers and company 
commanders on duty with the regiment at the time the appointment shall 
be made." Statutes at Large, 12 : 270. It was always customary in Minne- 
sota to take into consideration the wishes of the majority of the men in 
the appointment of this officer. John Ireland, now Archbishop Ireland, 
served as chaplain of the Fifth Minnesota from June, 1862, to April, 1863. 

The assertion occasionally made nowadays that the United States 
relied mainly upon foreign born citizens and foreigners for its armies in 
the Civil War is entirely without foundation in fact. The Comte de Paris, 




The methods used in raising troops in 1861 were not without 
serious defects. Among these was the inability, soon manifest, 
to fill depleted ranks. It was relatively easy to raise a new 
company. It was all but impossible to secure recruits for old 
ones of diminished strength. Offices, which were generally 
the price paid for the work of recruiting new troops, were not 
at the disposal of the unfortunate soldier who was detailed to 
raise his regiment to full strength. Moreover, the enthusiasm 
of enlistment en masse was lost, and volunteers could not 
even be certain as to the company to which they would be 
assigned. The unfortunate part of this situation lay in the 
fact that the assistance of experienced troops could rarely be 
utilized in the training of raw recruits. New regiments had 
to be formed, officered, and drilled, when the old regiments 
had more than enough officers for their own requirements 
and could easily have absorbed a large number of untrained 
men. It was a process wasteful alike of time and of men, but 
it was the only way to obtain troops until the application of 
the draft made the consultation of individual preferences less 
essential. Towards the end of the war, the formation of new 
regiments was frowned upon, and General Grant took the 
liberty of consolidating the fragments of decimated regiments 
whenever he chose. 32 

a competent and unprejudiced foreign observer, gives elaborate statistics 
to show the falsity of such a line of reasoning. "The foreign element," 
he declares, "was not proportionately represented in the composition of 
the national army. The soldiers born on American soil were more num- 
erous than if the army had been recruited by a draft bearing equally upon 
all the Citizens of the Union." Comte de Paris, Civil War, 1 : 180. 

32 The unsuccessful efforts to keep the First Minnesota at full strength 
after the battle of Bull Run may be traced through the daily papers. 
St. Paul Press, August 14, September 7, December 1, 1861. It was prob- 
ably due to the extraordinary record of the First Regiment, and it was 
entirely exceptional, that as many as one hundred and fifty recruits could 
be sent forward to it by August 30. Rebellion Records, serial 122, p, 467. 
In Illinois, only three hundred and fifty-one men were obtained for similar 
service during a like period. Illinois, Adjutant General, Reports. 1 : 16 
(revised edition). To December, 1862, when the war was nearly half 
over, the total number of recruits to old regiments had reached only 




Another difficulty arose from the attempts frequently made 
to recruit troops to be credited to one state from the residents 
of another. This resulted in no end of charges and counter 
charges, all tending to show that this state or that had been 
defrauded of the credit due it for raising volunteers and was 
being compelled to furnish more troops than its fair share. 
Wisconsin persistently charged Minnesota recruiting officers 
with entering her territory, and Minnesota as persistently 
retorted that iWisconsin had been "poaching" on her. One 
whole company of artillery from Minnesota, it was claimed, 
had enlisted in a Wisconsin regiment, while Houston County, 
one of the oldest in the state, had furnished so many troops 
to Wisconsin that during the whole first year of the war it 
was unable to raise so much as a company for Minnesota. 
Many of the states forbade this recruiting of troops within 
their borders to be credited elsewhere, but to the end of year 
Minnesota had taken no such action. 33 

The officers which the system produced were not always 
well fitted for their duties, potentially or otherwise, but under 
the circumstances a different method of selecting them would 
hardly have been feasible. No one thought of such a thing 
as a reserve officer's training camp, and there were only a few 
who worried because the officers were burdened with about 
the same amount of ignorance of military affairs as were the 
men given them to command. The regulations provided that 
the governors of the states furnishing volunteers should com- 
mission the requisite field, staff, and company officers. In the 
selection of the company officers, however, the governor rarely 
had anything to say. The man who had been chiefly interested 
in the raising of a company was rewarded with its command 
as a matter of course. Usually he was elected to that office 
by his men long before his commission could be granted. The 

49,990. Report of the secretary of war, December, 1862, in 37 Congress, 
3 session, House Executive Documents, no. 1, p. 10 (serial 1159). See 
also Comte de Paris, Civil War, 1 : 274. 

33 Adjutant General, Reports, 1862, p. 86; St. Paul Press, 23, 25, 1861; 
La Crescent Plain Dealer (Houston County), August 6, 1861. 




first and second lieutenants were similarly chosen, although 
there was often some rivalry for these posts. In Minnesota, 
during the early months of the war, the practice was adopted 
of commissioning the officers thus chosen only as the company 
was filled. A company part full was given a second lieutenant. 
When more recruits were obtained, a first lieutenant was 
commissioned, and finally, when minimum strength had been 
reached, the captain was formally inducted into office. Prob- 
ably it was hoped that this withholding of commissions would 
stimulate prospective officers to greater recruiting activity. 
Non-commissioned officers were appointed by the captains of 
each company, and were often promised far in advance. One 
captain in the Fourth Regiment, however, waited until his 
men had become acquainted, and then with true American 
democracy allowed them to elect the "non-coms" by ballot. 84 
Ordinarily, regimental officers were not appointed until each 
of the companies had recruited to minimum strength. The 
governor had considerable freedom in the selection of the 
colonel, lieutenant colonel, and majors for a regiment, and 
it was fortunate that he did. Since the captains and lesser 
officers frequently possessed no military experience whatever, 
it was necessary to have at least one man to a regiment who 
knew something about his business. At first every effort was 
made to secure officers of the regular army for the higher 
commands, but the decision of the war department to continue 
the organization of that branch of the service made this course 
all but impossible. Although military critics are disposed 
to think that it would have been wise to have broken up the 
regular army, distributing its experienced men among the 
states to assist in the training of volunteers, the release of 
army ofiicers for this duty was generally preemptorily refused. 
In making their appointments, governors were compelled to 
fall back upon veterans of the Mexican War, ex-army officers, 
foreign born citizens who had had military training, and even 

34 Adjutant General, Reports, 1862, p. 245; St. Paul Press, October 24, 
November 6, 1861 ; Brown, History of the Fourth Regiment, 40. 



militia officers. As the war progressed, minor officers who 
had seen service at the front could be recalled to take higher 
positions in new regiments. 

Military experience was by no means the only factor to be 
considered in the making of appointments. The activity of 
individuals in raising men was frequently rewarded. If a 
captain had shown himself particularly competent in recruiting 
his company to full strength, he might wisely be considered 
in line for promotion, for upon the regimental officers devolved 
part of the duty of raising a regiment to the maximum after 
their commissions had been assigned. Political considerations, 
likewise, could not be ignored. The appointments must be 
balanced fairly evenly between Republicans and Democrats. 
They must give representation to every section of the state. 
They must not ignore popular leaders. In short, they must 
be made with a view to securing the widest possible support 
■of the war. 35 

Because among army officers thus chosen a few must be 
found who could never approximate success, Congress wisely 
provided that a military commission, appointed by the general 
commanding a separate department or a detached army, might 
examine into the qualifications of subordinate commissioned 
officers, and if incompetency were proved, might vacate their 
commissions. This rule was not rigorously applied, but it 
proved of considerable service when used as a threat. A man 
who knew his shortcomings either took steps to remedy them 
or resigned. Summary removal, when actually resorted to, 
might or might not improve the situation. New selections 
could be made only by state authority, and as often as other- 
wise they were no better than the original. 36 

35 Adjutant General, Reports, 1862, p. 251; St. Paul Press, November 
14, 1861. In the larger states, where individuals often undertook the 
raising of whole regiments, the governor was under the same obligation 
to appoint the man who raised the regiment to be its colonel as he was 
to commission the man who had raised a company to be its captain. 
Comte de Paris, Civil War, 1 : 186. 

ZQ Statutes at Large, 12:270, 318; General Orders affecting the Vol- 




The method which obtained in making promotions was 
equally unsatisfactory. 37 The federal government should 
have been authorized to apply a uniform rule, but this the 
states were unwilling to permit. Each state made promotions 
as it chose. Instructions issued by the adjutant general in 
November, 1861, explained the principles which governed in 
the advancement of Minnesota officers. Promotions to field 
offices were made regimentally ; to line offices, by companies. 
Each regiment and each company was for this purpose 
considered a separate military organization, and no promotions 
were made from one regiment to another, or from one company 
to another. This practice varied widely from the seniority 
rule in force in the regular army, but state officials contended, 
not without plausibility, that there was a vast difference 
between the regular and the volunteer service. In the regular 
service men from all sections of the country were thrown 
together to form a company, and, enlisting as privates, they 
had little hope of promotion. Volunteers, on the other hand, 
came by companies from the same county or town, and the 
officers were often no better trained than the men. Since the 
regular army w-as officered chiefly from West Point, promo- 
tions in that branch of the service strictly by seniority could 
work no hardship. In the volunteer forces, however, it would 
mean the transfer of many officers from the company or 
regiment which they had assisted in raising, and which had 
elected them to their posts. It would mean, too, that privates, 
in many cases as well qualified for commanding position- as 
the officers themselves, would have no chance for speedy 

untccr Force, 1861, p. 16; Revised Regulations for the Army of the United 
States, 1861, p. 521 ; Comte de Paris, Civil War, 1 : 188, 269. In authorizing 
the raising of new units, the war department repeatedly reserved to itseli 
the right to revoke the commissions of all officers found incompetent, hut 
this seems likewise to have been more in the nature of a threat than ;i 
practice. Rebellion Records, serial 122, pp. 587, 607. 

37 The original plan for the filling of vacancies allowed the men to 
select the new officers, but Congress was soon convinced that this was 
impracticable and authorized the governors to make such appointments. 
Statutes at Large. 12:270, 318. 




promotion. Moreover, to the civilian there appeared to be 
"little justice in the rule, that, when a company by extra- 
ordinary exposure and valor on the field of battle should lose 
one, two or three of its officers, would supply their places from 
another company less exposed/' 38 

General officers for the volunteer army were appointed by 
the president, by and with the advice and consent of the senate. 
Lincoln showed a strong disposition to choose men from the 
regular army for these responsible positions, and Congress 
made full provision for this contingency. Officers temporarily 
taken from the regular army to serve in higher positions as 
commanders of volunteers were permitted to retain their 
original rank in the regular army. 39 This had some curious 
results. When Major General Hancock was in command of 
the Second Corps of the Army of the Potomac, in the regular 
army he was only a quartermaster with the rank of captain. 
At the time of the battle of Gettysburg, Meade as a regular 
was still a captain of engineers. Sheridan remained a captain 
of infantry in the regular army until close to the end of the 
war. By no means all of the higher officers were chosen 
from men of military education. Many appointments were 
made obviously for political or personal reasons. Some of 
these appointments discovered men of real military talent, but 
others terminated far less happily. On the whole, one may 
say that the effective military leadership in the Civil War was 
furnished by men who had had some previous training in the 
regular army. 40 

38 Adjutant General, Reports, 1862, p. 252. 

39 Statutes at Large, 12 : 269, 281 ; Revised Army Regulations, 1861, 
p. 520. 

40 Bad appointments to high positions were hard to remedy, and from 
the first considerable criticism followed the elevation of each politician 
to high place in the army. "The military policy which subjects volunteers, 
surgeons, black-smiths and even mules and cavalry horses to rigid exami- 
nation, should, in our judgment, put general commanding officers through 
the same course of sprouts. A brigadier general, however, needs no 
examination. If a coward, his commission makes him brave — if a dolt, 
it makes him brilliant, if ignorant it makes him learned, if deficient in all 




As has been aptly said, an ordinary assemblage of men 
resembles "a statue of clay, unable to move without 
breaking/' 41 Drill is required if any such mob is to be trans- 
formed into an army. This process would have been simplified 
greatly had there been an adequate number of trained 
instructors, but such, unfortunately, was not the case. Officers 
and men learned together. Usually, as already intimated, 
there was at least one officer to each regiment who knew some- 
thing of military tactics, and, regardless of his rank, he 
assumed the actual direction of affairs. Also, among the 
recruits there were numbers of men who had had some military 
experience. Some of them had served formerly in European 
armies. Others had belonged to one of the fancy militia 
companies so popular in the Fifties. Still others had gained 
knowledge, not to be despised in such an emergency, as 
members of the "Wide-Awakes" and "Little Giants." 

Training was usually begun by a company the day it was 
organized. In Minnesota, newly formed companies were gen- 
erally ordered to report at once at Fort Snelling, or to one of 
the frontier posts. Here they had to remain until maximum, 
or at least minimum, strength had been reached, and during 
this time there was nothing to do but drill. Minnesota troops 
were relatively well prepared when their time came to go to the 
front. The long distance to the scene of activities, coupled 
with the necessity of garrisoning the frontier forts, delayed 
some regiments weeks, and even months, in their departure. 
Thus, an opportunity for military training was given, which, 
if unappreciated, was none the less useful. Reports of the 
rigors of military drill by the men afflicted are hardly to be 
taken at face value. Still, the training must have been fairly 
strenuous. The First Regiment began on a schedule something 
military knowledge, he at once becomes the repository of all the learning 
of Scott, and all the aptness to command, which made Bonaparte famous. 
. . . It is the commission that works this transformation— this mira- 
cle." Illinois State Journal, July 3, 1861. 

« Comte de Paris, Civil War, 1 : 272. 




like this: "Morning gun was fired at S]/ 2 o'clock. Drill for 
an hour. Breakfast. Recreation for half an hour. Drill for 
five hours. Dinner. Recreation. Drill again until five o'clock, 
when the boys were again 'let out to play.' Such was the 
day's routine." In the evening the colonel assembled the 
officers for further instruction. 42 

The major portion of the training of the troops took place 
beyond the borders of the state. After the lesson of Bull Run, 
the necessity of further instruction was fully realized. In the 
East, and to a less degree in the West as well, the armies in 
the field became vast training camps. "In the conflicts of 
1861," says Major General Wood, "both officers and men were 
untrained for the duties demanded of them. . . . By 1862 
effective regiments, brigades, and divisions had come into 
being, but the conduct and leading of higher units as a rule 
was still imperfect. It was not until 1863 that the armies 
confronted each other as complete and effective military 
teams." 43 

The equipment of the national army taxed the resources of 
both state and nation to the limit. It was here that the lack 
of preparedness was most embarrassing. The scarcity of arms 
was startling. Volunteers came in swarms, camps could be 
improvised, and uniforms might be dispensed with, but no 
fighting could be done without weapons. The arsenals of the 
United States were neither numerous nor well-stocked, and 
many of them fell to the South. 44 The best infantry arm 
available was manufactured by the government at the Spring- 
field arsenal, but prior to the war not more than eight hundred 
of these rifles had been produced in any one month; and the 
arms which the United States had furnished to the state militia. 

42 St. Paul Press, May 2, 5, 1861. 

43 Major General Leonard Wood, Facts of Interest Concerning the 
Military Resources and Policy of the United States, 9 (pamphlet — Wash- 
ington, 1914). 

44 The relative strength of the North and South in the materiel of war 
is discussed in Rhodes, United States, 3:239-241, 397-410; Comte dte 
Paris, Civil War, 1 : 292-316. 




all too frequently were lost or useless. In this respect, how- 
ever, Minnesota seems to have been rather better off than 
most of the states. Arms of various sorts to the extent of 
over seventeen hundred stand had been received from the 
federal government since 1852; but many of them were out 
of repair, many were of obsolete design, and many others, 
scattered among the defunct militia companies of the state, 
could be collected only with difficulty. Nevertheless, the state 
was able to arm its first regiment in full and to have guns 
of an inferior quality left over for the companies forming. 
Afterwards the federal government made an effort to furnish 
the arms for each Minnesota regiment well before the time- 
set for its departure from the state. 45 

The immediate need for arms led the federal government, 
not only to make reckless purchases at home, but also to send 
a special agent to Europe with two million dollars for use 
in buying all the weapons he could find. The war department 
also authorized the several states, as well as generals in 

45 Report of the secretary of war, December, 1861, in 37 Congress,. 
2 session, Senate Executive Documents, no. 1, p. 7 (serial 1118) ; Adjutant 
General, Reports, 1861, p. 8; 1862, p. 235; St. Paul Daily Press, May 9, 
December 10, 1861. Referring to the condition of the Illinois militia, 
Governor Yates had this to say : "Under the present system all the arms 
issued to this state by the general government, representing a value of 
over $300,000, have been lost beyond recovery, and we have not today in 
the state, two hundred serviceable muskets." Illinois, Senate Journal, 
1861, p. 26. A local paper described the state of military preparedness in 
Chicago as follows : "The eight military companies who claim to have 
existence in Chicago . . . probably could not turn out more than a 
hundred men fully equipped . . . and for these there are less than 
half that number of efficient muskets. . . . Four brass six-pounders, 
and a mountain howitzer completes the present war-like equipment of a 
city of 100,000 inhabitants." Chicago Tribune, January 24, 1861. The 
rapidity with which the Minnesota troops were supplied with arms is 
shown by the fact that as early as the fifth of June, 1861, 880 stand of 
the "terrible Minie musket, that carries a heavy ball a full mile" had been 
received. Pioneer and Democrat, May 22, 1861 ; St. Paul Press, June 6, 
1861. But the Third Minnesota, on the eve of its departure for Louis- 
ville, Kentucky, was still without arms or accoutrements. Rebellion 
Records, serial 122, p. 624. 

356 JOHN D. HICKS Feb. 

command of divisions, to purchase arms for which the central 
government would pay. This policy was exceedingly short- ' 
sighted, for it led to ruinous competition among the agents I s 
of the states, the United States, and others authorized to buy. | : 
Prices advanced out of all reason. Arms of every description ' 
were purchased. American agents greedily bought up the 
old-fashioned and worn-out weapons of European states at ; 
a figure which allowed the latter to restock with the most 
modern inventions. Out of this chaos the government 
gradually evolved order. In 1861, the volunteer, if he had 
a weapon, was fortunate if it proved to be as dangerous to 
the enemy as to himself. In 1862, the Springfield factory 
• was delivering nearly twenty thousand stand of arms a month, 
and privately produced muskets, somewhat standardized by 
the "survival of the fittest," supplied additional needs. By 
1863, purchases of arms from Europe had ceased altogether. 46 
It was no light task to supply with clothing this great army 
of mushroom growth. Fortunately, the recent invention of 
the sewing machine had laid the foundation for the modern 
ready-made clothing industry, and the factories took over 
much of the work which a little earlier could have been done 
only by hand. At the outset, individuals and localities 
frequently assumed the responsibility of meeting the needs of 
troops from their vicinity. Thus, the ladies of Winona sent 

46 Report of the secretary of war, December, 1861, in 37 Congress, 
2 session, Senate Executive Documents, no. 1, p. 7 (serial 1118) ; Emerson 
D. Fite, Social and Industrial Conditions in the North during the Civil 
War, 97 (New York, 1910) ; Comte de Paris, Civil War, 1 : 298. Numer- 
ous documents relative to the activities of the government in the purchase 
of arms are printed in 37 Congress, 2 session, House Executive Docu- 
ments, no. 67 (serial, 1131). Major Peter V. Hagner, an ordnance officer 
purchasing arms for the federal government in New York City, testified 
as follows before the Committee on the Conduct of the War : "The agents 
of General Fremont, of the governors of States, of cities, of Union 
Defense Committees, of colonels of regiments, and of generals of our 
army, are all here. I may be in treaty for arms, and the first thing I hear 
the arms are sold to some agent. Some men who hold arms, I sometimes 
think, are rather disposed not to have a bona fide sale. I think they have 
been gambling in arms just as they do in stocks." 37 Congress, 2 session, 




to every man of their company at Fort Snelling "a beautiful 
gray fatigue uniform," and the ladies of Stillwater presented 
each member of the Stillwater company with a pair of "com- 
fortable blankets." But the chief burden fell upon the state. 
When the First Regiment was called out, the adjutant general . 
in spite of the lack of money and authority, let contracts for 
blankets, socks, flannel shirts, trousers, and hats to a local 
clothing company. These articles were delivered as soon as 
possible, and although inferior in quality, they were accepted 
because no others could be procured without great delay. 
Also, several companies were equipped out of regular army 
supplies found at Fort Ridgley. 47 

One result of this method of equipment was the assembling 
for the defence of the national capital of an army clad in the 
most variegated uniforms imaginable. Governor Ramsey, 

House Reports, no. 2, p. 35 (serial 1142). In the month of June, 1861, 
Arthur M. Eastman of Manchester, New Hampshire, purchased of the 
ordnance bureau 5,400 Hall's carbines at $3.50 each, and after a slight 
alteration of the arms, at a cost of from seventy-five cents to $1.25 on 
each arm, sold 5,000 of them, for $12.50 each, to Simon Stevens, who 
immediately sold the whole lot to General Fremont for $22.00 each. 
37 Congress, 2 session, House Reports, no. 2, p. 40 (serial 1142). 

47 St. Paul Press, April 30, May 2, 4, August 8, 1861. See also Fitc, 
Social and Industrial Conditions, 88-90. There was continual misunder- 
standing as to what assistance might be expected from the federal gov- 
ernment. In a communication dated September 14, 1861, Governor Ram- 
sey complained bitterly of "the refusal or neglect of the authorities at 
Washington ... to pay for either equipping or furnishing the First 
or Second Regiments of Minnesota Volunteers, though such payment 
was directly promised by the War Department." Rebellion Records, serial 
122, p. 513. A different reaction comes from a member of the batallion 
of cavalry which was enlisted in Minnesota in September, 1861 : "Being 
mustered into service, we were furnished with Uniforms, knapsacks, 
canteens, haversacks and blankets, which last were of the poorest quality 
and smallest size. These blankets were said to have been a gift from the 
State of Minnesota and were doubtless the best to be had at that time in 
the local market and of course were thankfully received by the men, 
but when later on these same blankets were found charged against the 
individual soldiers at the full price of the best the men did not fed so 
gratefull." Eugene Marshall's narrative of his experiences in the Civil 
War, in the manuscript collections of the Minnesota Historical Society. 




after one of his trips east, reported the street scenes of Wash- 
ington : "Now it is a regiment of Zouaves, in Algerine 
costume ; then the dapper gray style of the New York Seventh ; 
next, perhaps, the Knickerbockers from New York, with 
breeches looking for all the world like the nether integuments 
described by Washington Irving; or some other unique style 
of dress and equipment/' After the battle of Bull Run there 
was a strong demand for a national uniform. The Red Zouave 
uniforms attracted too much attention from the enemy. Others 
were so much like uniforms worn by the Confederates that 
friend could hardly be distinguished from foe. Often, too, 
the uniforms furnished by the states were of the trashiest 
materials. "A gentle wind," declared "Doesticks," an Ells- 
worth Zouave, "would blow a man's coat into rags in half a 
day; while if he ventured outdoors in a stiff breeze, his red 
breeches would tear into long red flags." 48 

The difficulties which the First Minnesota experienced in 
securing proper equipment are a fair sample of the trials which 
all the early volunteers were compelled to endure. The state 
authorities did what they could to provide a temporary outfit, 
but assumed that once the troops were called into federal 
service the national government would do the rest. This 
assumption was in complete accord with the law, and with 
private advices received by the governor from the war depart- 
ment. Hence, the departure of the troops for the front in 
summer weather without coats and overcoats occasioned little 

As time went on, an increasing volume of complaint came 
home in the shape of letters from the soldiers, correspondence 
sent to the home papers, and even petitions to congressmen. 

48 St. Paul Press, August 2, September 13, 1861. Doubtless many of 
the uniforms were made of "shoddy," a substitute for cloth, "which con- 
sisted of rags of all colors and descriptions, cut into pulp and pressed 
back into cloth by a process similar to that used in making felt; such 
cloth had no resistance, it easily fell back again into rags and pulp, and the 
sunshine or rain was wont to bring out its true nature very quickly." 
Fite, Social and Industrial Conditions, 85. 




•The men declared that they were destitute. They abused their 
officers for failing to secure the needed supplies. They abused 
the state authorities for general negligence. Some of them 
were ready to desert. An attempt was made to remove at 
least one man from the ranks by means of a writ of habeas 
corpus on the alleged ground that he had not been sworn in for 
three years, but only for three months. Real privations must 
have been felt, but the opportunity for exaggeration was too 
good to be ignored. The state adjutant general was convinced 
that nobody really suffered, and a committee of Minneapolis 
citizens appointed to inquire into the situation criticized the 
authorities only mildly, if at all. The regimental quarter- 
master went so far as to say that the men were sometimes 
guilty of maliciously damaging their clothing in order to 
escape drill and dress parade, and to hasten government action 
by their sad appearance. Colonel Gorman was not greatly 
disturbed. "A few men," he admitted, "wore out their pants 
and tore them so as to render them unfit for duty. . . . This 
has occurred in all regiments and in all armies." But everyone 
who stayed at home conceded that "in these war-like times 
our soldiers, with all the inconveniences incident to their 
situation, have a right to growl a little." 49 

That the men should have received new equipment long 
before it came was admitted on all sides. Still, no one was 
particularly to blame. Before the regiment left for the front, 
the state adjutant general had contracted with a New York 
•firm for the delivery of coats and overcoats to the troops, 
presumably at state expense. Governor Ramsey arranged, 
however, that the United States should inspect these articles, 
and if they were found satisfactory, should pay for them. 
When the First Minnesota was ordered to the front, it was 
agreed that the goods should be sent to Harrisburg, Pennsyl- 

49 Adjutant General, Reports, 1862, p. 83; Minnesota Conscnrr (Hast- 
ings), July 25, 1861; Minnesota State News (Minneapolis), July 27, 
August 3, 1861 ; St. Paul Press, August 6, 8, 17, 31, September 1, 11, 1861 ; 
Lake County Weekly Journal, August 31, 1861 ; History of the First Regir 
ment, p. 56. 




vania, where the soldiers on their way east would find them. 
Unfortunately, the garments failed to pass inspection, and 
hence were not available at Harrisburg. The contractors were 
then ordered to make their shipments to Washington, and did 
so. But the military storekeeper who received the consign- 
ment had no knowledge that it was designed for any special 
body of troops and issued it to the first regiment asking for 
supplies. Remonstrances brought a fresh set of supplies, 
but no instructions to the military storekeeper, who made 
the mistake a second time. Finally, when the goods were 
addressed "For the First Minnesota," the regiment obtained 
them. Even after this there was much discontent, for many 
necessaries were still lacking, but before winter set in the 
government was able to furnish reasonably good clothing for 
all. Subsequent installments of Minnesota troops were usually 
equipped directly by the federal government without the inter- 
vention of the state. 50 

Dissatisfaction among the soldiers about the food they had 
to eat was no less inevitable than dissatisfaction about the 
clothes they had to wear. Most of the trouble about rations, 
however, came before the troops had left the state, for the 
United States subsistence department speedily developed a 
creditable efficiency. The simplest way for the state to provide 
for the feeding of the troops at Fort Snelling was to contract 
for the same with some local firm, and this was done. 
Whether because the contractors had difficulty in securing the 
necessary provisions, or because they desired to get rich quick, 
the rations for a few days were neither adequate nor appetiz- 
ing. One company went to bed supperless rather than touch 
the food served it. Those who had visitors at meal time 
apologized, saying that the coffee would have been better "if 
beans hadn't been so plenty," that there would have been milk 

50 Adjutant General, Reports, 1862, p. 87; St. Paul Press, May 30, 
August 8, 1861. The condition of the regiment attracted much newspaper 
notice, but all the important documents are to be found in the issue of the 
Press for August 8. For general conditions see Comte de Paris, Civil 
War, 1:292. 




•in it "but the cow didn't come home," and that the "sugar 
would have been whiter, if it hadn't got mixed with 'our rich 
black soil.' " Protests to headquarters, coupled with a near 
""bread-riot," brought some reforms, but no abandonment of 
the system. As late as March, 1862, contractors, who boarded 
the soldiers at so much per day, still furnished the rations at 
Fort Snelling, and the soldiers divided their time "about 
evenly . . . between drill and cursing the cooks." 51 

Still another cause of discontent was the failure of the men 
to receive their pay at the time expected. The assistant pay- 
masters who were charged with this duty were very frequently 
drawn from the regular army, and were accustomed to strict 
attention to form. Moreover, their operations were supervised 
directly by a separate branch of the service — the pay depart- 
ment — where there was little opportunity for the cutting of 
red tape so common elsewhere. The Minnesota troops expected 
to receive their pay on the first of July, but to their chagrin 
they found that the paymaster passed them by. The reason, 
once explained, was clear enough. Certain required formal- 
ities had been omitted. Officers were required to make a 
complete and perfect muster roll of their companies, showing 
when and where each man had enlisted. From this list only 
could the pay roll be made out. Blanks had been sent to the 
officers, but not all of them had made out the muster rolls, 
with the result that the men were delayed about three weeks 
in receiving their pay. Back in Minnesota a similar situation 
developed. The men who had enlisted for three months but 
had declined to serve for three years, were told that their 
pay would be given them October 15. When that date came, 
the proper official was on hand with the money, but he could 
find no data available for use in carrying out his instructions. 
Considerable time elapsed before proper identifications of the 
men and proof of their enlistment could be obtained. 52 

51 Pioneer and Democrat, May 1, 1861 ; St. Paul Press, May 2, August 
8, 1861 ; Brown, History of the Fourth Regiment, 23. 

52 St. Paul Press, August 8, October 10, 1861. 

362 JOHN D. HICKS Feb. : 

United States soldiers, then as now, were the best paid 
soldiers in the world. The volunteer received thirteen dollars 
a month, a sum which to the European eye appeared 
"enormous." In addition, each man was promised a bounty 
of one hundred dollars, and a land warrant for one hundred 
and sixty acres of land, to be given him at the end of the 
war or at the end of his three year term of enlistment. This 
really generous treatment may have induced a considerable 
number to volunteer who might otherwise have hesitated. As 
the war progressed, the bounties offered by the national 
government were augmented greatly by state, county, and 
even municipal action. 53 

From the first days of the war, great concern was manifest 
for the care of the families of the enlisted men. An act of 
Congress of July 16 authorized "allotment tickets" by which 
a volunteer might sign over a certain portion of his salary 
to be delivered regularly to his relatives or dependents. When 
this scheme was presented to one Minnesota company, nearly 
one-third of the men made allotments of from three to ten 
dollars each. Local activities went much further. A mass 
meeting held in St. Anthony on the twenty-second of April j 
appointed a committee to see that the families of volunteers 

53 Statutes at Large, 10:701; 12:270, 326, 509; Pioneer and Democrat, 
May 18, 1861; St. Paul Press, August 13, 1861; Northfield Telegraph, 
October 2, 1861. Newspaper reports on the subject of bounties were apt to 
be very misleading. Unconfirmed rumors of what Congress intended to 
do were sometimes given the appearance of enacted laws. This may have 
been due to a desire to stimulate enlistments by making the terms appear 
as advantageous as possible. Local means of encouraging volunteering 
seem to have been resorted to from the very beginning. An Illinois law 
of 1861 authorized the corporate authorities of cities, towns, and counties 
to levy a five mill tax, and to appropriate such sums as were deemed 
expedient, "for the purpose of aiding in the formation and equipment of 
volunteer companies." Illinois, Session Laws, special session, 1861, 24. 
When finally the draft was invoked, localities bent every effort towards 
preventing its application to them. Volunteers sometimes received so 
much as a thousand dollars for enlisting, and a class of "bounty-jumpers" 
was developed, who enlisted for the money there was in it, and then 
deserted only to enlist again. See Carl R. Fish, "Conscription in the Civil 
War," in the American Historical Review, 21 : 100-103 (October, 1915). 

1918 RAISING THE ARMY IN 1861 363 

were provided "with a decent and comfortable support in 
sickness and in health." Five Minneapolis physicians offered 
free medical attendance to the families of enlisted men. The 
city council of St. Paul proposed to guarantee to the depend- 
ents of those who went to war a reasonable allowance of 
support out of the city treasury, and the board of county 
commissioners appropriated outright one thousand dollars for 
this purpose. Subsequently there was considerable objection 
to the supporting of families of soldiers "in idleness and 
luxury." "One bill," a local paper complained, "was sent in 
for house rent at the rate of ten dollars per month. We hear 
another instance where the wife of a volunteer presented at 
a store an order from the chairman of the Relief Committee, 
and demanded the finest and most costly articles of shoes for 
herself and children that could be found in the establishment." 
But the general feeling, here as elsewhere, was that the state 
or municipality was under obligations to see that the depend- 
ents of soldiers should not suffer. 54 

In many other ways the desire of those who stayed at home 
to "do their bit" soon made itself manifest. In every town 
the women organized themselves spontaneously into volunteer 
aid societies. They gave benefit concerts without number 
and used the proceeds to purchase towels, handkerchiefs, extra 
underwear, and the like, for the soldiers. They met afternoons 

54 Statutes at Large, 12:271, 331; Executive Documents, 1862, p. 29; 
Annual Cyclopaedia, 1861, p. 27; St. Paul Press, April 25, August 8, Octo- 
ber 3, 31, 1861; Pioneer and Democrat, April 28, 30, 1861. The adjutant 
general of Minnesota suggested that since many soldiers had left their 
property interests in an unsettled and insecure condition, it would he well 
for the legislature to provide by law for staying all proceedings against 
such persons or their property during the time of enlistment. This was 
done elsewhere, but not at once in Minnesota. Adjutant General, Reports, 
1862, p. 90. See also interesting lists of subscriptions made in Wisconsin 
for the care of families of volunteers, given in William D. Love, Wis- 
consin in the War of the Rebellion, 128-136 (Chicago, 1866). An 
informing monograph on this subject is "Social Relief in the Northwest 
during the Civil War," by Carl R. Fish, in the American Historical Review, 
22:309-324 (January, 1917). 




to prepare sundry-bags containing scissors, needles, thread, 
and buttons, with which the soldier might keep his garments 
in a good state of repair. They made with their own hands 
the flags which were to be carried in battle and presented them 
formally on days characterized by much oratory and parade 
and, not infrequently, by banqueting as well. They got the 
idea that "Havelocks," an indescribable attachment to the 
ordinary headgear, were an "absolutely necessary head 
covering for a soldier in a warm climate," and made hundreds 
of them on the eve of the departure of the First Regiment for 
the front. "Every gallant soldier of Minnesota," ran one 
report, "when marching under the scorching sun of Virginia, 
will bless the ladies of the Society for their timely and self- 
sacrificing care." The soldiers were decent enough later to 
write back that the "Havelocks" were "very good things to 
protect us from the sun," but the sad fact of the matter was 
that they became considerable of a laughing stock. As winter 
approached knitting became popular. Mittens were greatly 
in demand, and long directions appeared in the papers explain- 
ing how the work should be done. Mittens with one finger 
and a thumb were in highest favor. 55 

No sooner had the Ladies' Volunteer Aid Society of St. Paul 
disbanded, having completed its duties by the making of a 
thousand "Havelocks," more or less, than it discovered a new 
field of activities and came to life again. The chaplain of 
the First Minnesota wrote home that the men were suffering 
from the want of hospital supplies. Immediately a committee 
set forth to solicit contributions towards a "hospital fund," 
and the result of the first day's labor netted some seventy 
dollars. Public contributions taken up in the churches through- 
out the state added further to the fund. In St. Paul a festival 
was planned. De Haven's Circus gave the receipts from one 

55 Pioneer and Democrat, April 11, June 16, 1861; St. Paul Press, April 
14, 25, June 23, November 19, December 24, 1861 ; Minnesota Conserver, 
(Hastings), August 1, 1861; Minnesota State News (Minneapolis), 
November 16, 1861.. 




•night's performance, and a travelling opera company did the 
same. Within a few weeks a sum of money had been collected 
"amply sufficient to meet the wants of the Regiment for a 
year to come." "Don't kill us with kindness," wrote the 
chaplain into whose care the fund had been committed. "Tell 
liberal men and noble women, to send no more money nor 
clothing." It was characteristic of the unsystematic way in 
which things were done that the Second Minnesota, then 
assembling at Fort Snelling, had reason to believe at this very 
time that its wants were being neglected. Presently, however, 
the organization of the United States Sanitary Commission 
gave much needed direction to willing workers and served to 
eradicate many such difficulties. 56 

Other manifestations of private initiative are not hard to 
find. The American Bible Society and the Young Men's 
Christian Association, assisted by private donations, under- 
took to supply each volunteer with a New Testament. H. H. 
Sibley sent a check for a hundred dollars to the First 
Minnesota to be used as the soldiers saw fit, and this started 
the organization of a regimental band. 57 But for the willing 
cooperation of individuals, the financing of the war would 
have proved an insurmountable obstacle, alike in state and 
nation. Governors borrowed huge sums on their own credit 
with the expectation that their legislatures would indemnify 
them, and loans were readily secured on these terms. The 
adjutant general of Minnesota, whose salary from the state 

56 Minnesota State News, July 27, 1861; St. Paul Press, July 16, 25, 
28, 31, August 13, 15, September 1, November 28, December 14, 18, 1861 ; 
Northfield Telegraph, July 31, December 4, 1861. The work of the 
Sanitary Commission was early recognized by the government as appears 
in the report of the secretary of war, July, 1861, 37 Congress, 1 session, 
Senate Executive Documents, no. 1, p. 26 (serial 1112). A satisfactory 
summary of the organization and work of the Sanitary Commission is 
given by Rhodes, United States, 5 : 244-259. Contemporary literature on 
this subject is abundant. 

57 St. Paul Press, May 1, 2, 3, November 15, 17, 1861. In the early 
part of the war the band of each regiment was also expected to man 
ambulances, and pick up the wounded. 




was one hundred dollars a year, reported that during the 
year 1861 between two and three thousand dollars had been 
paid out by him out of his own pocket for war purposes, or 
was owing to individuals from whom he had purchased. 58 
The governor of Minnesota, to avoid an extra session of the 
legislature, asked the state treasurer to make further necessary 
payments from his private funds, which he "generously and 
patriotically consented to do" to the extent of another three 
thousand dollars. 59 The contributions of private citizens and 
corporations throughout the country during the first three 
weeks of the war were estimated by the New York Herald 
to have reached a grand total of $28,739,000. 60 

It is this exploitation of individual initiative which is the 
distinguishing feature of the method by which the army of 
1861 was raised. The correctness of the volunteer system, 
which burdened every patriotic citizen with a sense of 
individual responsibility when victories were not won, was 
rarely questioned. Even when the draft was invoked in the 
later years of the war, it was only as a stimulus to enlistments, 
and the number of conscripts was ridiculously low. Individ- 
uals, not officially inspired, assumed the duty of gathering 
recruits, and of organizing them into minor divisions. 
Individuals, without the encouragement of a Liberty Loan 
campaign, dug down into their pockets for the money to 
provide temporary equipment. Individuals, who never dreamt 
of the systematic methods of the American Red Cross, 
contributed funds, gave bazaars, sewed, knit, and even cooked 
for their own boys and brothers at the front. The state did 
nothing which the individual could do ; the nation did nothing 
which the state or the individual could do. 

58 Adjutant General, Reports, 1862, pp. 88, 229. 

59 Governor's message to the legislature of January, 1862, in Minnesota,. 
Executive Documents 1861, p. 5. 

60 Quoted in the Pioneer and Democrat, May 7, 1861. The secretary 
of war, however, claimed in July, 1861, that the amount contributed did 
not exceed ten million dollars. 37 Congress, 1 session, Senate Executive 
Documents, no. 1, p. 23 (serial 1112). 




How different it all is to-day. The system which a little 
more than fifty years ago saved the Union, and vindicated 
democracy as a safe government for America, if not for the 
world, is now obsolete. In this war it is the nation which 
takes the lead, while the individual does what he is told to do. 
The state authorities, bereft of initiative, have become merely 
convenient tools in the process of "decentralization.'' The 
best of patriots can conscientiously await the result of a federal 
lottery and an elaborate questionnaire which shall determine 
whether they go to war or not. Even the making of bandages 
and the knitting of socks is supervised by some remote 
authority higher up. 

Why all this change? Why has the United States so will- 
ingly abandoned long cherished traditions? There is a saying, 
as true as most generalizations, that "history never repeats 
itself," and another, that "we learn from history that we 
cannot learn from history." The conditions under which the 
Civil War was fought resemble only remotely the present 
situation. The analogies so commonly drawn are almost 
invariably misleading. It was possible in 1861 to put green 
troops in the field with officers no better than the men. for 
the enemy was doing the same thing. Imagine such an army 
as McDowell had at Bull Run, or as Grant had at Donelson, 
in contact with a German division! It was necessary in 1861 
to divide the labor of organization among the several states, 
for a national government so weak that it was compelled to 
go to war to justify its very existence could hardly be expected 
to have adequate machinery with which to work. Since the 
Civil War the same trend towards centralization which has 
characterized business has also characterized government. 
To-day it is the national government which has the machinery, 
and the states that lack it. The points of contrast might be 
amplified at will. Just as the modern curtain of fire which 
precedes an advance along the western front differs from the 
bombardment of the Union lines at Gettysburg before Pickett's 
charge, by just so much do the conditions under which we 

- 368 JOHN D. HICKS Feb. 

are fighting to-day differ from those of 1861. A new system 
of raising and maintaining an army had to be invented to meet 
the new situation. The new machine is full of flaws, and does 
not yet work smoothly, but the country as a whole approves 
the invention. The flaws will be corrected. The system 
adopted can be worked — is already working — and the world 
will be made safe for democracy. But the methods of 1861 
were of little use as a guide for action in 1917. Those "lessons 
of history" which produced on some minds the vision of "a 
million men in arms over-night" had to be ignored. Present 
conditions, not long past experiences, determined how the 
army of 1917 was to be raised. 

John D. Hicks 

IHamline University 
St. Paul 


Agriculture of the Hidatsa Indians, an Indian Interpretation. 
(The University of Minnesota, Studies in the Social Sciences, 
no. 9). By Gilbert Livingstone Wilson, Ph. D. (Min- 
neapolis, The University of Minnesota, 1917. x, 129 p. 
Plates, text-figures.) 

Corn among the Indians of the Upper Missouri. By George F. 
Will and George E. Hyde. (St. Louis, William Harvey 
Miner Company, 1917. 323 p. Plates.) 

The writer of the first of these volumes began his observations 
and studies among the Hidatsa Indians in 1906, when he was a 
Presbyterian minister in North Dakota. During a later pastor- 
ate in Minneapolis, he was a student of anthropology in the 
graduate school of the University of Minnesota, and in this 
connection, during the years 1912 to 1915, this work was pre- 
pared as his doctor's dissertation. It is a translation of the 
accounts given to the author by Maxi'diwiac (Buffalobird- 
woman), daughter of Small Ankle, who was leader of the Hidatsa 
at the time of their removal to what is now Fort Berthold 
Reservation, on the Missouri River about 75 to 125 miles north- 
west from Bismarck. Maxi'diwiac's narrations were interpreted 
by her son, Edward Goodbird, pastor of the Congregational 
chapel at Independence, in this reservation, whose life story was 
published by Dr. Wilson in 1914. 

For his part in this interesting monograph on Plidatsa agri- 
culture, which is in some degree representative of farming and 
gardening by many tribes in the northern part of the United 
States before the coming of the white men, Dr. Wilson claims 
no credit beyond that for the details of arrangement and of 
idiomatic expression in the interpreter's translation. "Bits of 
Indian philosophy and shrewd or humorous observations found 
in the narrative are not the writer's, but the informant's, and 
are as they fell from her lips. . . . It is an Indian woman's 





interpretation of economics ; the thoughts she gave her fields ; 
the philosophy of her labors. May the Indian woman's story 
of her toil be a plea for our better appreciation of her race." 

This narrative has successive chapters on the Hidatsa crops 
of sunflowers, corn, squashes, and beans, telling how the woman 
prepared the gardens and fields, and how they planted, cultivated, 
harvested, and cooked each of these crops, or stored them for 
winter use and for seed. Tobacco was also cultivated, but only 
by the old men. The Hidatsa raised nine well-marked varieties 
of corn, which they kept distinct by planting them in separate 
fields. The soft white and hard yellow varieties were most 
extensively raised, as they could be prepared for food in many 
different ways. 

In the second book here reviewed, the authors state that it has 
been found that fifty varieties of this most useful product in 
Indian agriculture were formerly raised by tribes in the Missouri 
Valley. They note the purpose of their researches as follows : 
"To describe these newly discovered varieties of native corn ; 
and to give some account of the agricultural methods of the 
Upper Missouri Indians, of their manner of harvesting and 
storing the crop, of the ways in which they prepared corn for 
food, of their traditions relating to the origin of corn, and of 
their corn rites. . . . The work of collecting seed of the old 
Indian varieties of corn has been very successful; nearly all of 
the sorts formerly grown by the tribes along the Missouri, from 
the Platte northward, have been recovered, experimental plant- 
ings have been made, and the seed has been rather widely distrib- 
uted among corn breeders. . . . The work of breeding and 
crossing these native corns will now be taken up again; and it 
is to be hoped that hardier and heavier yielding varieties for the 
Northwest may be produced in abundance." 

It is estimated that the Missouri tribes most expert in hunt- 
ing, as the Kansa, or Kaws, and the Osage, cultivated an average 
of a third of an acre, planted chiefly in corn, for each person, 
while other tribes, who depended less on the hunt, averaged 
about an acre for each man, woman, and child. 

Will and Hyde think that the Minnesota O jib way may have 
received their corn from the Mandan, a tribe closely related to 




.the Hidatsa. Schoolcraft says, in the narrative of his expedition 
to Cass Lake in 1820, that the Indians were cultivating corn in 
the region of Red Lake, and to a lesser extent on the Upper 

As the first among the Sioux to raise much corn, these authors 
note the Isanti, or Santee people, who, previous to 1750, lived 
about Mille Lacs, but were driven south to the Mississippi and 
Minnesota Rivers by the Ojibway. Cass and Schoolcraft saw 
cultivated fields of corn adjoining Little Crow's village, near 
the site of St. Paul, and on the second day of August, 1820, they 
attended a ceremonial feast of these Sioux held at that place. 
This festival was one that was held when the ears were ripe for 
boiling, and the Indian women presented many basketfuls of 
the corn to the travelers, who accepted as much as they could 
store in their canoes. 

Warren Upham 

Elling Eielsen og den Evangelisk-lntherske Kirki i Amerika. By 
E. O. Morstad. (Minneapolis, Folkebladets Trukkeri, 
1917. 474 p. Illustrated.) 

The student of Lutheranism who seeks information concerning 
the division into sects which resulted in the Hauge Synod and 
the Evangelical Lutheran Church will find much of interest in 
this work, which purposes to show Eielsen's sincerity as a Chris- 
tian and as a pastor and to prove the lack of foundation for 
criticism passed upon his ordination as a pastor as well as upon 
his later religious activities. The book opens with an account 
of religious conditions in Norway and of Eielsen's early work in 
the Scandinavian countries. Then follows a narrative of his 
departure for America on July 15, 1839, and his trip across the 
country through Albany and Buffalo to Chicago, where he 
preached his first sermon. 

A short review of religious conditions in the Fox River settle- 
ment, Illinois, and in early Scandinavian settlements in Wiscon- 
sin is given as a preface to a discussion of Eielsen's ordination, 
for it was to minister to this region that he was made, according 
to Morstad, the first Norwegian Lutheran minister in America. 
This is followed by an account of the first meeting of Lutherans 


held at Jefferson Prairie, Wisconsin, in 1846, and the adoption 
of a church constitution. From this place on throughout the 
volume, differences of opinion and sectarian strife constitute an 
outstanding theme. These difficulties ultimately resulted in a 
separation of the religious communities into those who aligned 
themselves to form the Hauge Synod in 1876, and those who 
stood firmly by Eielsen and the first constitution, thereby con- 
stituting the Evangelical Lutherans. 

For the student of history other than religious, Morstad's 
Elling Eielsen offers little that is of interest, and this scanty 
material is difficult to find since it is scattered throughout the 
book, which, unfortunately lacks an index. Short biographical i 
sketches are given of laymen and churchmen who worked both i 
with and against Eielsen in the religious field. Minnesota is- J i 
seldom referred to. A letter dated North Cape (Wisconsin) 
January 29, 1863, written by Mrs. Eielsen to her husband who* j 1 
was then in Norway, includes a few details concerning the Indian i 
outbreak in Minnesota. An account of a church meeting which t 
was held in Fillmore County, June 5-13, 1875, deals only with 
doctrinal controversies. Again, when writing of a visit paid by 
Eielsen, in 1875, to Pastor Thompson, who had charge of a 
congregation of ninety families in Lac Qui Parle, the author 
devotes his attention exclusively to matters religious. 

Morstad makes frequent use of private and church letters and 
of periodicals, particularly the Chicago Lutheraneren. For 
pioneer history he depends largely upon Langeland's Nord- 
maendene i Amerika. The plan of the book lacks concentration 
and direct progress of the central purpose. A strong religious 
and sectarian flavor pervades the whole. One concludes a read- 
ing of the book, however, with a belief in the unwavering, stern 
sincerity of the pioneer pastor, Elling Eielsen, whose activities in- 
America extended even to Texas, but whose main work was done- 
in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota, cen- 
tering in Chicago where he both began and concluded his religious, 





The Lure of the Mississippi. By Dietrich Lange. (Boston, 
Lothrop, Lee, and Shepard, 1917. [2], 268 p. Illustrated.) 
The place long occupied by the novel in the field of historical 
writing has in recent years broadened out to include juvenile 
story books in which the plot centers about some actual events. 
Among the writers contributing to this development is Dietrich 
Lange, who finds in the history of the Mississippi Valley a store- 
house from which he has drawn materials for a series of boys' 
stories of adventure. In his latest book, The Lure of the 
Mississippi, he uses the circumstances of the Indian uprising of 
1862 and Civil War conditions on the lower Mississippi to furnish 
the background for a narrative of two southern boys, who nar- 
rowly escape from the Sioux Indians only to undertake a long 
and adventuresome trip to their home in the beseiged city of 
Vicksburg. The author reconstructs for his young readers the 
life of frontier days and, also, weaves into his narrative bits of 
wood lore that add to the interest as well as to the value of the 
book. J. S. 


The annual meeting of the society on the evening of January 
14, 1918, was the first meeting to be held in the new building. 
At the business session, which convened in the manuscript room, 
the following life members of the society were unanimously 
elected to serve on the executive council for the triennium, 
1918-21 : Everett H. Bailey, Charles Bechhoefer, Solon J. Buck, 
Rev. William Busch, Frederick M. Catlin, Lorin Cray, Oliver 
Crosby, William W. Cutler, Frederic A. Fogg, William W. 
Folwell, Guy Stanton Ford, Darwin S. Hall, Harold Harris, 
Frederick G. Ingersoll, Gideon S. Ives, Victor E. Lawson, 
William E. Lee, William H. Lightner, William A. McGonagle, 
William B. Mitchell, Charles P. Noyes, Victor Robertson, J. F. 
Rosenwald, Edward P. Sanborn, Rev. Marion D. Shutter, Charles 
Stees, Warren Upham, Olin D. Wheeler, William G. White,, 
Harry E. Whitney, and Edward B. Young. Following the 
business session the society adjourned to the south gallery for 
the annual address, which was delivered by Dr. Lester Burrell 
Shippee of the University of Minnesota, on the subject : "Social 
and Economic Effects of the Civil War with Special Reference 
to Minnesota." This part of the meeting was open to the public 
and the audience numbered about two hundred. 

In connection with its account of the annual meeting of the 
society the St. Paul Daily News published in its issue of January 
13, a picture and brief description of the building, together with 
some account of the moving. Somewhat the same ground is 
covered in an article in the Minneapolis Journal of January 20. 
This is accompanied by an exterior and three interior views of 
the building. 

The following new members, all active, have been enrolled dur- 
ing the quarter ending January 31, 1918: Mrs. Fred A. Bill, 
C. Edward Graves, Dietrich Lange, Albert R. Moore, and Har- 
old S. Quigley of St. Paul; Miss Medora Jordan and Lester B. 




• Shippee of Minneapolis ; Lieutenant Sydney A. Patchin, stationed 
at Houston, Texas; Charles H. Budd and Mrs. James H. Gordon 
of Montevideo; Denver C. Leach of Willmar ; and Thomas 
Bardon of Ashland, Wisconsin. Deaths among the members 
during the same period were as follows : Hon. Charles E. Otis 
of St. Paul, November 8 ; Kenneth Clark of St. Paul, November 
11; Hon. Charles Keith of Princeton, November 30; George F. 
Piper of Minneapolis, December 1 ; Joseph S. Sewall of St. Paul, 
December 22; Rev. William McKinley of Winona, January 12; 
Rev. Arthur E. Jones of Montreal, Canada, January 19; Bishop 
James McGolrick of Duluth, January 23 ; and Andrew C. Dunn 
of Winnebago, January 28. 

Occupation of the New Building 

The Minnesota Historical Society is experiencing at the pres- 
ent time one of the most important transitions in its annals. 
Nearly seventy years after its organization by a group of far- 
seeing men in the first year of the existence of the territory of 
Minnesota, it is now for the first time installed in quarters 
adequate to house its collections and activities, specifically designed 
to meet its requirements, and worthy of its high purposes. 

The work of moving the library and other property of the 
society into the new building began on December 11, 1917. 
The newspaper volumes and stock of publications, so long stored 
in the Old Capitol where they were in constant danger of destruc- 
tion by fire, were taken first. Then followed the moving of the 
greater part of the newspaper collection in the New Capitol, 
after which it was necessary to wait until January 3 for the 
completion of the elevator in the main book stack before the 
transfer of the general library could be begun. By the end of 
the month, however, practically all the possessions of the society 
were in the new building. Before a single book was moved a 
comprehensive scheme of arrangement was worked out making 
it possible for most of the books to be put in their proper places 
on the shelves as they were brought over. In order that service 
to the public might be interrupted as little as possible, the classes 
of books most in use were left to the last. On January 10, how- 
ever, it became necessary to close the reading room in the Capitol, 


but the reading room in the new building was opened to the 
public less than a week later. 

Because of delays at factories and in transportation, only a 
part of the furniture for the building has been received as yet, 
and it has been necessary to employ a variety of makeshifts. 
All the departments are in operation, however, with the exception 
of the museum, which cannot be permanently installed until new 
equipment is received. As this equipment will not be ready for 
several months, plans are now being worked out for the temporary 
display of some of the more interesting museum material. 

Dedication of the Building 

At the November meeting of the council, Messrs. Charles P. 
Noyes, Solon J. Buck, Everett H. Bailey, Frederic A. Fogg, and 
Frederick G. Ingersoll, who as members of the executive com- 
mittee for the triennium 1915-18, had charge of the society's 
interests in connection with the construction of the building, were 
appointed a special committee on dedication. Since the Missis- 
sippi Valley Historical Association is to hold its annual meeting 
in St. Paul on May 9, 10, and 11, the committee decided to 
arrange for the dedication exercises to be held in connection with 
that meeting, when a considerable number of distinguished men 
in the field of history from outside the state Avill be able to 
participate. The program for the exercises has not been com- 
pleted as yet, but it is expected that there will be an afternoon 
and an evening meeting, at one of which the dedicatory address 
will be delivered by Frederick Jackson Turner, professor of 
history in Harvard University. The committee feels that it is 
most fortunate in securing for this occasion not only one of the 
foremost historians of the country, but one whose researches and 
inspiration have contributed especially to an adequate under- 
standing of the significance of the West in American history. 

The program for the Mississippi Valley Historical Association 
meeting, which is being worked out by a committee of which 
Professor Chauncey S. Boucher of St. Louis is chairman, bids 
fair to be of unusual interest. This association held its first 
annual meeting in Minnesota, at Lake Minnetonka, in 1908, and 
it is eminently fitting that it should return a decade later and 




. join in dedicating a new building to the cause of history. Pro- 
grams of both the association meeting and the dedication exercises 
will be mailed to all members of the Minnesota Historical Society, 
when they are completed, and it is hoped that every member who 
can possibly do so will arrange to attend. 


Mr. Charles T. Andrews of South Bend, Indiana, has presented 
to the society a copy of the Genealogical Biography of Charles T. 
and Mary E. Clark Andrews, compiled by him, on the inside back 
cover of which he has pasted a photograph of Owatonna in 1864, 
showing the main street and the then Fenno residence, now the 
site of the Burt house, in which he was married and lived during 
the winter of 1864—65. The photograph also shows in the fore- 
ground a caravan of ox-drawn prairie-schooners proceeding down 
the street. 

A collection of ambrotypes of the members of the first legis- 
lature of the state of Minnesota, 1858, is a recent gift to the 
society from two of its life members, Mr. John A. Stees of St. 
Paul, and his son, Mr. Charles Stees. The pictures were exhib- 
ited for the first time at the annual meeting of the society, Jan- 
uary 14, 1918, when Mr. Charles Stees made a brief presentation 

Dr. James C. Ferguson of St. Paul, who has recently gone into 
military service, has presented a small but interesting collection 
of Indian artifacts of stone and copper; also an old flint-lock 
found near Rock Lake in Crow Wing County, and a curious 
powderhorn, the history of which is unknown. Mr. John Seibert 
of Hillman is jointly responsible with Dr. Ferguson for part of 
these gifts. 

An old record book of the German Farmers' Fire Insurance 
Company of Washington County has been presented by Mr. Henry 
Vollner of Stillwater. In addition to the treasurer's accounts 
from the time of the organization of the company, March, 1S(>7, 
until 1888, the book contains the minutes of two preliminary 
meetings which were held to provide for and adopt a constitution, 
the constitution itself, and a list of the members. 


Mrs. James J. Hill has presented to the society two museum 
articles of unusual interest. One is an initial shot from the flag 
of the First Minnesota Regiment at the battle of Gettysburg, 
which is accompanied by a copy of the note written to Mr. Hill 
by Mrs. W. W. Dike at the time she gave him this bit of the 
old flag, January 6, 1898. The other is a tamarack cane given 
to Mr. Hill by Simeon P. Folsom of St. Paul. In a letter to 
Mr. Hill, Mr. Folsom states that when he came to St. Paul in 
July, 1847, a house, built of tamarack logs, stood at the corner 
of what is now Jackson and Third Streets. He purchased the 
building and in it opened the first hotel in St. Paul. In December 
of the same year he sold the place to Jacob W. Bass, who ran 
it as the "St. Paul House." The old house was torn down in 
1871, after it had served as a part of the Merchants Hotel for 
a number of years. 


At the annual meeting of the American Historical Association 
held in Philadelphia during the holidays, subjects of war inter- 
est held first place. The collection and preservation of archival 
and other material for the history of America's participation in 
the war was discussed both in the conference of archivists and 
in that of historical societies. Attention was called also to the 
fact that the pressure for office space in Washington is result- 
ing in the removal and destruction of archival material, some of 
which is of great historical value, and resolutions were adopted 
urging the temporary housing of this material in Washington or 
nearby, in order that it might ultimately be restored to the per- 
manent archives. The situation which has developed serves to 
'emphasize the short-sightedness of the federal government in 
not having provided long ago for an adequate archives building. 
Historical societies throughout the country were urged to coop- 
erate in an effort to prevent the further destruction of historical 
papers. The association selected Minneapolis as the place for 
the annual meeting in 1918, but the council was authorized to 
change the meeting place or call off the meeting entirely if the 
transportation situation or other conditions resulting from the 
war should make such action advisable. 

The opening article in the Wisconsin Magazine of History 
for December is a suggestive essay on "The Frontier a World 
Problem," by Carl Russell Fish. Part of this issue is devoted 
to a translation, with foreword, by Rasmus B. Anderson, of Ole 
Nattestad's "Description of a Journey to North America." This, 
with Rynning's "Account of America" in the Bulletin for 
November, makes available in English two of the rarest and most 
important sources for the history of the beginnings of Norwegian 
settlement in the Northwest. 

Two new entrants in the field of local history publications arc 
the Proceedings of the Historical Society of East and West 





Baton Rouge, Louisiana, volume 1 of which, for 1916-17, has 
been issued as a Bulletin of Louisiana State University ; and the 
Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine, a quarterly published 
by the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, the first 
number of which is dated January, 1918. It is estimated that 
more state and local historical publications of a serial character 
have been started during the last two years than in any preced- 
ing ten years. 

The State Historical Society of Iowa has published a biography 
of Samuel Jordan Kirkwood, by Dan E. Clark (1917. 464 p.). 
The fact that Kirkwood was governor of Iowa during the Civil 
War, makes it especially appropriate that this volume should 
appear at the present time when the nation and the states are 
once more exerting all their energies in preparation for a great 
military struggle. 

Number 7 of Iowa and War (January, 1918) is entitled Old 
Fort Madison — Early Wars on the Eastern Border of the Iowa 
Country, by Jacob Van der Zee (40 p.). It consists of a sketch 
of early Indian difficulties, the Revolution, and the War of 1812 
in the upper Mississippi Valley. 

The Washington State Council of Defense has appointed war 
history committees in each of the counties of the state. These 
committees are said to be "busily at work gathering newspaper 
clippings, photographs, manuscript and all other records which 
will be helpful to a thorough study and understanding of the 
great events when the war is ended. These records are to be 
deposited in the most central and most adequate public library 
in each county. . . . Each committee is also working on the 
basis of patriotic service by providing funds to meet expenses 
as they arise in the work." A list of the committees is pub- 
lished in the Washington Historical Quarterly for January. 

Prise Essays Written by Pupils of Michigan Schools in the 
Local History Contest for 1916-17 (1917. 26 p.) is the title of 
number 9 of the Bulletins of the Michigan Historical Commis- 
sion. This contest, arranged by the Michigan Daughters of the 
American Revolution and the Michigan Federation of Women's 
Clubs, appears to be a very effective device for arousing interest 




in local history. The subject assigned was "The First School 
and the Children who Attended It," in the writer's home city 
or village. 

The American Indian; An Introduction to the Anthropology of 
the New World (New York, 1917. 435 p.) is the title of what 
appears to be a scholarly summary of the extant knowledge in 
this field, by Clark Wissler, curator of anthropology in the Amer- 
ican Museum of National History, New York. The book 
contains a valuable bibliography and over a hundred illustrations. 

Under the heading, "Men Who Are Winning in the War," 
Leslie's Weekly, for January 12 prints a sketch of Julius H. 
Barnes of Duluth, now serving as president of the United States 
Food Administration Grain Corporation. The article is by 
Samuel Crowther. 

In a pamphlet entitled Erindringer (1917. 39 p.) John T. 
Nystuen tells the story of his eventful life from the time he left 
Norway, in May, 1854, to the present. He includes a descrip- 
tion of his voyage from Bergen to Quebec and of his subsequent 
journey to the Middle West, where, as a pioneer in Wisconsin and 
Iowa, and later in Minnesota, he experienced the usual hardships 
incident to the development of a frontier region. 

In a work entitled Danske i Kamp i og for Amcrika fra ca. 
1640 til 1865 (Omaha, 1917. 397 p.), P. S. Vig discusses the 
participation of Danes in military events connected with Amer- 
ican history. Some of the chapters are concerned with Danish 
activities in wars "For America in Europe," and "For America" 
in the colonial period, while others are devoted to the "Danes 
in the American Revolution," "Danes in the Mexican War, 
1846-47," and, lastly, to those who fought in "The Civil War." 
The book contains a considerable amount of biographical material. 

The 1917 number of the Mistaltenen contains sketches of some 
Minnesota Danes in its department headed "Danisk Foretag- 
somhed" (Danes of Note). This publication is issued annually 
in the interests of Danish-Americans. 

Under the title "Valdriser i Triumph, Minn." the October, 1917, 
number of the Samband publishes Christian Satter's story of his 




life from the time he came to Green County, Wisconsin, until he 
had acquired a large farm in Triumph. Mr. Satter's experiences 
were typical of those of early settlers with small funds. 

The Department of Minnesota, Grand Army of the Republic, 
has published a pamphlet entitled The Report of the Committee 
on the Soldiers' Home (8 p.), which contains a sketch of the 
history of this institution from its inception in 1886. 

The November 12 issue of the Freeborn County Standard, 
contains several articles of historical interest. An account of 
""How Albert Lea Got Its Name" is accompanied by a picture of 
Colonel Albert Miller Lea, whose name was given to the lake 
from which the city took its name. A sketch of the Standard 
traces the development of that paper from its establishment in 
1857 to the present. This is illustrated by pictures of the early 
editors. An interesting description of Freeborn County in 1857 
is reprinted from a contemporary issue of the Minnesota Star, 
which published the article "for the information of those seeking 
homes in the West, particularly in Freeborn county." 

The discovery of a collection of printing samples containing 
letterheads, billheads, and business cards of former Winona 
business and professional men prompted William J. Whipple to 
write a reminiscent article which appears in the December 1 issue 
of the Winona Republican-Herald. Mr. Whipple writes inter- 
estingly of men and firms that were prominent in the commercial 
life of the city a generation ago and concludes with a sketch 
of the eventful, but unsuccessful, career of the Winona and 
Southwestern Railroad Company. 

In the December 26 issue of the Mankato Daily Review Colonel 
George W. Mead and Benjamin D. Pay tell their recollections of 
the hanging of the thirty-eight Sioux Indians at Mankato fifty- 
five years ago. Both men were present at the time ; Colonel Mead 
as a member of the Ninth Minnesota, and Mr. Pay as sheriff. 
A contemporary picture of the scene accompanies the accounts. 

"Local History, Old Crow Wing" is the heading of an article 
printed in the Brainerd Dispatch of December 28, in which the 
compiler Leon E. Lunn, includes extensive quotations from 




William E. Seelye's account of his experiences as a member of 
the Eighth Minnesota during the Sioux Outbreak. Most of the 
incidents related center about the early settlement of Crow Wing. 

Under the title "Minnesota in the Making" the Mille Lacs 
[County Times (Milaca) is printing a series of original narratives 
of early explorations in Minnesota. Extracts from the accounts 
of Hennepin, Du Luth, and Radisson have appeared recently. 

In commenting upon Sydney A. Patchin's article on "The 
Development of Banking in Minnesota," in the August number 
of the Minnesota History Bulletin, Franklin Curtiss- Wedge 
reviews the early history of banking in Winona. The Winona 
\ Republican-Herald of November 24 prints his resume under 
i the title, "History of Early Bankers Recalls 'Boom' Days When 
Winona Became Real City." 

The November 6 issue of the Rochester Daily Post and Record 
\ contains a letter from Charles C. Willson, in which he traces 
! the names "College Hill" and "College Street" in the collegeless 
town of Rochester back to 1856 when plans were made to estab- 
lish a school, to be known as Huidacooper Institute, in that city. 

The Paynesville Press of December 6 contains a letter from 
George R. Stephens, of Oklahoma City, which recounts incidents 
connected with the establishing of the Press thirty years ago. 

A biography of James H. Vannet, which is appearing serially 
in the Thirteen Towns (Fosston), describes in some detail the 
experiences of a Pine County pioneer in the territorial days. 
Mr. Vannet came to Minnesota in 1841, and the account of his 
life contains information concerning the relations of the early 
traders with the Indians and the beginnings of the lumbering 
industry. The author is W. L. Hilliard. 

The Minneapolis Journal of January 13 tells of the attempts 
of early settlers in Minneapolis to stake claims on that part of 
the Fort Snelling military reserve which is now the business 
district of the city. A picture of Harwood's old, stone livery 
stable, which was built on the site of one of these early claims, 
and one of Second Avenue South in 1857 accompany the article. 




Some account of life in pioneer days may be found in a sketch 
of David Shaver which appears in the Winona Independent of 
November 4. Mr. Shaver came to Dodge County in 1858, and 
was one of the early settlers in that region. 

The Winona Republican-Herald of November 1 contains a 
list of the old settlers in that city and its vicinity who have died 
in the past twelve years. The compiler is Oliver K. Jones. 

An article on "Minnesota Pioneers" appears in the November 
30 issue of the Blue Earth County Enterprise (Mapleton). The 
latter part of the article consists largely of the reminiscences of 
the author, Mrs. O. W. Healy, who recalls incidents of pioneer 
days in Mapleton. 

A suggestive piece of work in the field of local history is a 
sketch of Twin Valley, which appears in the Twin Valley Times 
of November 28. It was written by Florence Vehle, a pupil in 
the eighth grade of the Twin Valley schools. 

In an article entitled "Chisago County and the War" the 
Chisago County Press (Lindstrom) of December 20 calls atten- 
tion to the part played by the Scandinavians of Minnesota during 
the Civil War. In this connection the Press reprints from a 
contemporary issue of the Hemlandet an appeal issued by Colonel 
Hans Mattson "To the Scandinavians of Minnesota," in 1861. 

In the August number of the Bulletin (page 209) attention 
was called to the story of the "White Squaw of Fox Lake Isle" 
published in a local newspaper and purporting to be based on an 
old manuscript. It has since developed that this story was a 
"brain fancy" as the writer has expressed it, and that the old 
manuscript never existed. 

A number of former residents of Waseca living in Minneap- 
olis met together on the evening of December 15 for a general 
reunion of the "Old Home Folks." It is planned to make this 
gathering an annual event. 

The Carlton County Old Settlers' Association held its annual 
meeting at Barnum, December 12. An address on the war by 
Congressman C. B. Miller was the principal speech of the occasion. 




Some economic aspects of the "Settlement of Itasca" County 
are discussed in the December 12 issue of the Grand Rapids 

In the issue of October 10 the Minneapolis Svenska Eolkets 
Tidning prints an historical sketch Of the John W. Thomas 
Company, one of the older mercantile houses in Minneapolis. 

The New Prague Times of December 13 introduces a survey 
of local organizations and commercial interests with a resume 
of the history of New Prague. 

An interesting sidelight on economic conditions in Minnesota 
during the Civil War is found in the St. Peter Free Press of 
December 8. This is a list of staples with their wholesale prices 
in 1865 and their retail prices at the present time. Material 
for the list was obtained from the books of Auerbach, Finch 
and SchefTer, St. Paul, for September, 1865. 

Under the title "Roses for the Living" the Le Sueur News 
is publishing biographical sketches of men who are leaders in 
Le Sueur County activities. 

A column of "Library Notes" contributed to the Swift County 
Review (Benson) by Ernest R. Aldrich frequently contains 
material relating to the state's history. The early career of the 
Universalist Society in Minnesota is discussed in the issue of 
October 30 in connection with a notice of Rev. Marion D. Shut- 
ter's biography of Rev. James Harvey Tuttle. A sketch of Gen- 
eral William G. Le Due and a collection of historical incidents 
relating to Benson and its vicinity appear on November 20 and 27, 

Students of religious and social history will be interested in the 
newspaper accounts of special services held by various churches 
throughout the state, as these articles often include historical 
sketches of the congregations. A history of the Redwood Falls 
Methodist Episcopal Church by A. E. King appears in the Red- 
wood Falls Sun of November 2 in connection with a description 
of the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of 
the church. A list of the pastors of the church accompanies 
the article, and some reminiscences of Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Ferris 



in the November 9 issue of the Sun supplement Mr. King's 
account. The Alexandria Citizen in its account of the fiftieth 
anniversary of the First Congregational Church of that city- 
includes a history of the church and a roll of its pastors. The 
November 22 issue of the Sauk Center Herald contains an 
account of the work of the Benedictine order in West Union,, 
a work which has extended over a period of twenty-five years 
and has culminated in the dedication of a new building for the 
St. Alexius Catholic Church on November 18. Among the 
articles dealing with Scandinavian churches are the Fergus Falls 
Ugeblad's account of the forty-fifth anniversary celebration of 
the Fergus Falls Evangelical Lutheran Church in the October 
19 issue; a history of the Comfrey Swedish Lutheran Congrega- 
tion from the time the members left Sweden to the present time, 
in the Comfrey Times for November 29; and a resume of the 
twenty-five years of activity of the Mankato Scandinavian Baptist 
Church in the Mankato Daily Free Press of November 28. 

Some articles recently published in the section of the Saturday 
Evening Post (Burlington, Iowa) devoted to "The Old Boats" 
deserve especial attention from students of early river transporta- 
tion. A biographical sketch of George W. Gauthier, one of the 
early rivermen, by Fred A. Bill, is printed in the issue of Decem- 
ber 15. On the same date appears an article by Captain George 
Winans in which he tells of his experiences in trying to use, for 
the first time, a steamboat to tow log rafts down the Mississippi. 
This account was read at the December 15 meeting of the Pioneer 
Rivermen's Association in St. Paul, an extended notice of which 
appears in the Post for December 15. In addition to this special 
section, the Post, in its issues of November 17, 24, December 1, 
and 8, publishes the log of the steamer "Lilly," which was kept 
by her engineer, Eben B. Hill, during a trip from St. Louis up 
the Missouri to Fort Benton, and return, in 1867. 


Vol. 2, No. 6. 
Whole No. 14. 
May, 1918. 


No people can pass through a period of abnormal existence 
without some modification of its fundamental institutions, 
more or less profound. Even though the period of abnor- 
mality be short and the ruffling of the surface of things appar- 
ently insignificant, the path of the destiny of that people takes 
a new turn and never can affairs be put back upon the old 
footing. Wars rank among the most potent of modifying 
influences. Nevertheless all wars do not equally produce 
immediate and perceptible changes in the life of a nation. 
While more spectacular and politically significant, the Ameri- 
can Revolution did not remold the lives of the people of the 
United States as did the titanic European struggle to eject 
Napoleon, wherein the War of 1812 was one of the closing 

The Civil War in the United States has been, down to the 
present conflict in which we are engaged, the most momentous 
and the most highly significant armed struggle which has 
wrenched our people out of the beaten track. Leaving out of 
consideration the political effects of this strife as well as the 
legal and social results of putting an end to domestic slavery, 
the student of the period of the war and the years immediately 
following perceives the rise of new forces in the social order 
and the submergence of older factors. All portions of the 
Union, however, were not equally affected. The South, obvi- 
ously, was most radically modified, both during the war and 
in the following reconstruction period. Yet the North by no 
means emerged from, the contest unchanged, although it was 

lAn address read at the annual meeting of the Minnesota Historical 
Society, St. Paul, January 14, 1918. 





but little affected by the ravages of contending armies and 
subject to nothing of the blighting economic depression which 
spread its pall over all the seceding states. 

In April, 1861, the industrial organization of the North 
was attuned to peace. For four years preceding the fall of 
Sumter the country had been slowly emerging from the hard 
times following the panic of 1857, and, but for the political 
cloud on the horizon, everything appeared propitious for a 
new era of prosperity. Factories turned the product of the 
southern cotton fields into cloth, while mines were sending to 
the smelters the ore which would yield the metal for all the 
varied industrial demands of an age of steam. Better prices 
and ample labor stimulated the farmer to produce the food 
stuffs and raw products which a reviving industry demanded, 
while good wages made the laborer's position better than any- 
where else in the world. To be sure, there were flies in the 
economic ointment; mutterings about the railroads were later 
to become articulate; the germ of the subsequent disputes 
between labor and capital could be discerned by a keen observer ; 
and there were some who questioned whether there might not 
come a time of reckoning with the problems growing out of 
the concentration of population which accompanied the factory 
system. Nevertheless, if the troublesome issues arising from 
slavery could be compromised away, as had been the case so 
many times before, it was possible to face the economic future 
with confidence. 

When it was realized, however, that the war was to be 
something more than a holiday excursion to Richmond, the 
future began to appear less rosy. The stopping of the cotton 
supply caused the mills of the North to slacken their activities. 
Soon, when the accumulated stock of fibre was exhausted, the 
hum of the spindles nearly ceased, and, while some operators 
attempted to keep their employees busy with repairs, improve- 
ments, and extensions for a time when normal conditions 
should be restored, many of them were obliged to shut their 
doors and see their help drift off into other work. Frantic 




efforts were made to substitute other fibres, but little success 
attended these endeavors. Hopes were raised high when 
portions of the southern coast fell before the exploits of the 
Union armies and navy, only to be dashed by the meagreness 
of the bales obtained. Even when New Orleans was captured, 
only a small amount of cotton was secured. To be sure a 
little trickled through the lines in exchange for articles needed 
in the South, even for war munitions in some cases, and this 
was sold to manufacturers, or more often to speculators, at 
rapidly mounting prices. Cotton fabrics became so scarce 
that silks from the Orient could be obtained more easily and 
more cheaply. 

If cotton manufacturing had been dealt a staggering blow, 
many other industries were inordinately stimulated. All sorts 
of supplies for the armed forces were in great demand ; the 
metal industries were rushed to capacity; cloth for uniforms 
was desired in such quantities that the mill-owner stilled for 
a time his incessant plea for protection and yet more protec- 
tion. The cry for wool made sheep raising upon the barren 
hills of northern New England profitable once more, and hun- 
dreds of hitherto almost worthless farms were turned into 
paying sheepwalks. Shoddy came into its own, even though 
soldiers in the field complained that their uniforms dropped to 
pieces in a few weeks. Shoes and boots for the army gave 
an impetus to factory production of these articles which was 
now possible because of an adaptation of Howe's sewing 
machine. Leather soared and cattle raising throve. 

Whatever surplus of labor was loosed upon the community 
by the stopping of a few industries was rapidly absorbed by 
the extraordinary demands in other branches, and soon the 
cry of shortage in the labor market was heard. This appeal 
became more insistent as the armies grew and absorbed thou- 
sands of young men. Yet. when it is considered that the 
Union forces were made up principally of boys in their teens 
and young men in their early twenties, it can be perceived 
that the greatest part of the labor power of the country was 




not turned from productive to destructive activity. Two fac- 
tors, moreover, served to relieve the labor situation : the sub- 
stitution of women for men workers, and the use of labor- 
saving machinery. It was at this time that women began in 
large numbers to take positions hitherto almost exclusively 
filled by men ; the schoolma'am ruled in the place of the school 
master, and the female clerk, it was discovered, was as efficient 
as her brother. Whatever was gained in the economic struggle 
by women during the war was not relinquished at its close, 
and furthermore a great impetus was given to the demand for 
women's equal rights, economic, social, and political. 

But if the transition advanced materially the cause of women 
in certain aspects, it brought other and sadder changes. The 
need for ready-made clothing stimulated sweatshop methods. 
Hundreds of women, old and young, pushed to the wall by 
mounting prices and by the removal of male wage-earners, 
eked out a bare living sewing for army contractors and sub- 
contractors at the scantiest of wages. Again Howe's inven- 
tion, made practicable just before the outbreak of the war, 
contributed both to rapidity of supply and to heart-breaking 

It was in the agricultural field, however, that machinery as 
a substitute for man power made itself most evident. The 
armies had to be fed as well as clothed; not only that, but 
ample allowance had to be made for the inevitable waste which 
attends military operations. Without the mowing machine, 
the horse rake, and the reaper it is impossible to conceive how 
the armies or the civilian population could have been fed, or 
surplus of wheat raised and sent abroad to help maintain the 
credit of the United States in the mart of the world. To labor- 
saving devices, more than to any other one cause, was due 
the tremendous increase in the production of food stuffs in 
the fields of western New York and Pennsylvania, and of the 
Northwest. Still, machines could not take the place of human 
labor entirely, and while the agricultural West raised no such 
complaint of shortage of labor as did the manufacturing East, 




women had to work in the fields to sow and harvest the crops, 
particularly in the last two years of the war when the draft 
was garnering in a constantly increasing number of youths. 2 

It was not enough to produce the food and the other raw 
products. They had to be transported to the front, to the 
manufacturing centers, and to the seaboard for export. One 
of the decisive adverse factors with which the Confederacy 
had to contend was a most inadequate railroad system, con- 
structed wholly from Northern and European materials, while 
one of the elements contributing to Union success was a net- 
work of lines which not only connected the interior with the 
seaboard but linked remote communities with the business cen- 
ters of the North. 3 In the later period of the war some por- 
tions of the South were on the verge of starvation while others 
had an unusuable surplus of food; Lee's army, for instance, 
was destitute in Virginia when Alabama had all the necessaries 
in abundance. On the other hand, after it had been gathered 
at the primary distributing centers by rail or by river boat, 
the wheat of Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin poured 
into New York from Milwaukee and Chicago either by rail or 
by the Great Lakes and the Erie Canal. 

The railroads were not slow to realize that they held the 
whip hand. Prior to the war Atlantic ports competed with 
New Orleans as outlets for the products of the upper Missis- 
sippi and the Ohio ; long usage gave the southern port advan- 
tages not easily overcome. When, however, the Confederate 
government realized that the Northwest was going to throw 
its lot with the Union the Mississippi was closed, and traffic 
had to be diverted to the welcoming but not necessarily benevo- 
lent competitors. They were not averse to making all possible 
use of their commanding position, to the end that the farmer 
could complain that an unduly large portion of the fruits of 

2 Frederick Merk, Economic History of Wisconsin During the Civil 
War Decade, ch. 1 (Madison, State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 

3 Carl R. Fish, "The Northern Railroads, April, 1861," in the American 
Historical Review, 22:778-793 (July, 1917). 




his labor was absorbed in transportation charges. In no small 
degree did this extortion add to the already existing dissatis- 
faction with railroad treatment and precipitate the "anti- 
monopoly" revolt which came at the close of the war as a 
precursor to the Granger agitation and legislation of the early 
seventies. 4 

Not content with the added tonnage and consequent receipts 
which the closing of the river gave them, the railroads took 
steps to throttle local river transportation. Wherever the rails 
tapped a territory which was also served by river boats, cut 
rates forced the cheaper carrier to lay up, except where a 
persevering independent continued to carry on a precarious 
business. Moreover, all possible steps were taken to divert 
to rail points traffic which logically should have sought non- 
competitive river facilities. At a time, then, when one would 
expect that traffic on the upper river and its affluents should 
have shared in the benefits of war commerce, there came a 
falling off. For instance, in 1862 St. Paul had the largest 
number of boat arrivals during the war (1015) exceeded only 
by those in 1857 and 1858 (1026 and 1068). Thereafter the 
decline which ensued was continued with occasional spurts of 
renewed life. What was true of St. Paul obtained at the ports 
on the smaller streams. 5 

Minnesota necessarily shared in the economic transition 
which affected the whole Northwest. Yet, inasmuch as Min- 
nesota was still in the midst of her pioneer endeavors, it is 
difficult to determine with any precision just what should be 
charged to war conditions and what to a continuing primitive 
stage of development. When territorial status was proclaimed 
in 1849 fewer than 5,000 souls lived in Minnesota, but such 
was the rush to virgin lands that the census of 1860 disclosed 
a population of 172,022. The next five years saw this number 
nearly doubled, but in the five years following the war a 

4 Merk, Economic History of Wisconsin, ch. 12. 

5 Merk, Economic History of Wisconsin, ch. 14; Minnesota, Statistics, 
1869, p. 107. 




smaller proportionate gain in population was made than in 
the war era. There were 250,099 persons in the state in 1865, 
in 1870 there were 440,076. Nevertheless this was an average 
annual increase of 15.19 per cent, and in the decade from 

1860 to 1870 only Nebraska and Kansas had higher rates of 
increase. 6 

The war did affect the relative proportions of males and 
females. Whereas in a normal community which has passed 
through the earlier formative stages the number of females 
is slightly in excess of the males, in 1860 Minnesota's male 
population exceeded the female by 8.22 per cent; in 1870 this 
disproportion had somewhat disappeared for the males were 
only 6.84 per cent more numerous, yet the state census of 
1865 showed that the females were outnumbered by but 5 
per cent. In the census returns after 1870 the approach to 
a normal relation of the sexes demonstrated that pioneer days 
were rapidly becoming a thing of the past. 

As a result of the inpouring of people, despite the ample 
response of Minnesota to Lincoln's calls for soldiers, there 
was no such dearth of labor as was experienced, for instance, 
by her neighbor, Wisconsin. Late in 1863 and during 1864, 
when more plentiful money accompanied renewed activity, 
especially in railroad construction and in lumbering, there is 
some evidence that there was a heavier demand for labor, yet 
nowhere does there seem to have been such a shortage as was 
experienced in the agricultural and lumbering states across the 
Mississippi. Again, while wages increased somewhat between 

1861 and 1864, the average for common laborers in the latter 
year was not as high as in Wisconsin. 7 

In common with all the rest of the United States the increase 
in wages was not at all proportionate to the rise in prices of 
all sorts of commodities. There was nothing unusual in the 
way that prices of necessaries soared during the war; similar 

6 Minnesota, Statistics, 1870, p. 116. 

7 Governor's message, January, 1865, in Minnesota. Executive Docu- 
ments, 1864, p. 19; Merk, Economic History of Wisconsin, ch. 6. 




phenomena have been observed among every people engaged 
in a great armed struggle. Nevertheless, large amounts of 
fiat currency issued by the United States served to aggravate 
the prevailing tendencies. In the West, however, the green- 
back was not looked upon with the disfavor it encountered in 
the older portions of the Union. Contrasted with the depreci- 
ated notes of state banks, the United States note was indeed 
the "best money" the West had ever known, and to the local 
economist there was in it no evil except its limited amount. 

State banking, which was usually accompanied by secured 
and superabundant note issues, forms one of the least pleasing 
features of the early history of most of our frontier states 
from the beginning of the century down to the time the national 
banking act began to operate in full force. Minnesota had 
not escaped the prevailing passion and had sought to eke out 
the scanty supply of specie trickling into her commercial chan- 
nels by authorizing banks to issue upon securities regarded 
by outsiders with suspicion and not sound enough to prevent 
great depreciation. The war, however, did not produce so 
much added disturbance in the exchange value of notes secured 
by railroad bonds as it did in Wisconsin and Illinois where 
bonds of southern states had been largely used as a guaranty. 
In fact, after a time, the war proved a blessing so far as Min- 
nesota's currency situation was concerned. Not only did the 
greenback afford relief, but the state banks chartered during 
the war based their issues upon state and national bonds of 
one sort or another and so inspired a confidence which had 
been almost lacking previously. But no greater alacrity to take 
advantage of the national banking act of 1863 was shown by 
banking interests in Minnesota than was the case in other 
states. Many new state banks were incorporated but only 
two national banks had received charters before Congress, in 
March, 1865, forced all banks of issue to enter the new fold 
or go out of existence. 8 

8 Sydney A. Patchin, "The Development of Banking in Minnesota," 
in the Minnesota History Bulletin, 2: 159-168 (August, 1917). 




While relief had come by 1863, the previous two years had 
been a period of great money stringency in the state. Specie 
disappeared from circulation as it did all over the United 
States; money was almost impossible to obtain and exorbitant 
rates of interest were charged. 9 

Investigation of the agricultural phase of war economics in 
Minnesota is complicated by the difficulty of determining 
whether the truly remarkable progress exhibited by the state 
was a result of the war or came in spite of the war. Undoubt- 
edly there would have been a great development under normal 
conditions, for, prior to the outbreak of hostilities, the earlier 
steps had been taken and the temporary setback produced by 
the panic and hard times had been overcome. Untouched 
lands have ever tempted man to exploitation, and Minnesota's 
millions of fertile acres have proved no exception to the rule. 
On the other hand the high prices of wheat and other grains 
unquestionably stimulated production. Despite the Indian 
outbreaks and a devastating drouth in 1862 and 1863 the 
wheat harvest advanced from 5,101,432 bushels in 1860 to 
9,475,000 bushels in 1865. As the assistant secretary of state 
remarked in his annual report, "the development of agricul- 
ture kept even pace with the population." Moreover, a high 
yield per acre encouraged more men to sow wheat. 10 

The new homestead policy of the federal government added 
to the total available public lands open to settlement. These 
were already extensive for, in addition to the school and uni- 
versity lands and swamp lands which had been donated to the 

9 One of Ignatius Donnelly's correspondents asks his aid in obtaining 
the payment of a loan of fifty dollars, the interest on which was three 
per cent a month. Schriver to Donnelly, November 12, 1862, in the 
Donnelly Papers. The papers of Ignatius Donnelly comprise one of the 
larger and more important collections of manuscript material in the pos- 
session of the Minnesota Historical Society. They consist mainly of 
the letters received by Donnelly, supplemented by his own letter-press 
books. See Minnesota History Bulletin, 1:133 (August, 1915). 

10 Minnesota, Statistics, 1869, p. 9; Commissioner of statistics, Minne- 
sota: Its Resources and Progress, 1872, p. 27. 




state and territory, enormous grants for railroad purposes, 
amounting eventually to nearly twelve million acres, were 
open to purchase or to preemption. In 1863 a total of 463,296 
acres was taken up ; this amount increased in 1864 to 665,750, 
and in 1865 to 804,982 acres. After the close of the war this 
rate of increase was not maintained; in 1866 a smaller acre- 
age passed into private hands than in the previous year, and 
in 1869 there was only a slight increase over 1865. Post 
helium depression and poor harvests in these two years in 
part explain the falling off. 11 

Minnesota was not unaffected by the prevalent stimulus 
which was given to certain activities. Naturally those related 
to some branch of husbandry received the greater attention. 
Attempts were made to find substitutes for the cane sugar and 
molasses which could no longer be obtained from Louisiana. 
Sorghum was the most promising of these substitutes, and it 
was tried out on a considerable scale. While this plant yielded 
a syrup of good quality, all efforts to cause it to crystallize 
into sugar proved fruitless. It was thought that tobacco might 
be raised and so free the North from dependence on the South 
for this article, but no very serious attention was given the 
crop during the war. It was not until the period of high 
prices in 1868 and the years immediately following that farm- 
ers of the Northwest believed there were sufficient prospects 
of a paying crop to invest much time or money in its growth. 12 

Wool, however, was in a different category. The high price 
of this commodity early stimulated the Minnesota husbandman 
to try his luck at supplying a portion of the demand in the 
hope of securing a share of the enormous profits of the suc- 
cessful sheep raiser. The number of sheep in the state in 
1864 was slightly over 97,000. Importations and natural 

11 Minnesota, Statistics, 1869, p. 127. 

12 Merk, Economic History of Wisconsin, 35-37; Minnesota, Statistics, 
1870, p. 35. John Wass wrote to his congressman, Donnelly, December 
13, 1863, asking for tobacco seed for himself and for the benefit of 
Minnesota. Donnelly Papers. 



increase sent this number to 193,045 in 1866. The high expc 
tations were not realized, however, for in 1869 the number of 
sheep in the state had fallen to 135,450, while the next year 
saw another decrease. A report of the state department said, 
"It will hardly be claimed that even the more moderate expec- 
tations respecting the growth of wool have been justified by 
the results yet obtained ; and it is undeniable that this important 
interest has experienced a serious decline, and labors today 
under great depression." 13 Experience proved that the late- 
ness of the spring in this northern climate caused the lambing 
season to come too late for the best development of flocks, 
and men soon drew out of this branch of husbandry as rapidly 
as they could. 

Next to agriculture, lumbering received the strongest impe- 
tus from the war. In common with Wisconsin and Michigan, 
Minnesota possessed vast resources in standing timber, of 
which the white pine covering much of the northern portions 
of this section was considered most valuable. In 1863, after 
a depression in the first years of the war which was more 
seriously felt in Wisconsin where greater development had 
already taken place, the prices of lumber began to jump and 
continued to rule high. In 1864 the pineries of Minnesota, 
like those of western Wisconsin, were precluded from taking 
advantage of the price of twenty-three dollars a thousand in 
Chicago, by the unusually low water in the branches of the 
upper Mississippi ; but the next year saw a different situation 
and millions of feet were floated down to market. Peace 
brought a great slump in the lumber market, and it was not 
until 1867 that reviving conditions pushed the price even 
higher than it had been during the war. 14 

The Fifties had, down to the panic, been a boom period for 
lumbermen, signalized by the concentration of thousands of 
acres of valuable timber land in the hands of a few operators. 
The fraudulent use of half-breed scrip, among other means, 

13 Minnesota, Statistics, 1869, p. 43; 1870, p. 36. 

14 Merk, Economic History of Wisconsin, 61-63. 




had contributed to the alienation of much public wealth. 15 Dur- 
ing the war a stop was put to this easy method of appropriating 
the public's wealth, but in 1868 a more complaisant secretary 
of the interior opened the door again and the merry scramble 
was resumed. Railroad lands, too, offered an opportunity to 
the energetic and not too scrupulous lumberman, which, 
coupled with an easy attitude on the part of state officials, 
further served to build up enormous holdings. A single illus- 
tration, by no< means extreme, serves to indicate what oppor- 
tunities lay open to the astute. The firm of Hersey, Staples, 
and Dean (Hersey, Staples, and Hall after 1866) was organ- 
ized in April of 1861. When the partnership was dissolved 
in 1875 each of the three associates was able to take as his 
third of the accumulated holdings a hundred thousand acres 
of timber land. Cooperation of state officials, as well as local 
agents of the federal government, with favored lumbermen also 
aided the latter, not only to secure the land itself, but, in some 
cases, to allow cutting of timber at a more than reasonable 
valuation without the necessity of buying the soil which grew 
the trees. This was a variant of the scrip frauds. 16 

The war both retarded and promoted the construction of 
railroads in Minnesota. When the vast land grant to the pros- 
pective state was made by Congress in 1857 for the purpose 
of forwarding the building of lines which should connect dis- 
tant points with the more settled portions and also link Minne- 
sota up with her neighbors, everybody looked to a period of 
prosperity even more intense than that which had existed in 
the preceding few years. But the panic in the same year 
spelled doom to such anticipations. Although the land was 

15 William W. Folwell, Minnesota, the North Star State, 112-120 
(Boston, 1908). 

16 George W. Hotchkiss, History of the Lumber and Forest Industry 
of the Northwest, 531 (Chicago, 1898) ; "Report of the Pine Land Com- 
mittee" (Senate), March 3, 1874, in Minnesota, Senate and House Jour- 
nal, 1874, pp. 541-552; Testimony Taken by the Committee on Invalid 
Pensions, 59 (44 Congress, 1 session, House Miscellaneous Documents, 
no. 193— serial 1707). 




granted to companies, it was impossible to secure sufficient 
money for construction either in the East or in Europe. Land 
was a drug on the market. State bonds were issued to the char- 
tered companies as the grading of successive strips of roadbed 
was completed. These were formally like other bonds, but in 
the minds of the people who had amended the state constitution 
so that the "credit" of the state might be loaned they were 
merely a form, for it was intended that the railroads them- 
selves should pay the obligation. New York capitalists, more- 
over, looked askance at any kind of new securities, especially 
those which had to do with new enterprises whose returns were 
problematical. The net result was the defaulting of the rail- 
road companies, while Minnesota had a few score miles of 
poorly graded roadbed to show for an obligation of nearly two 
millions known as the "Five Million Loan." The retraction of 
the amendment of 1858 and a regrant of the lands to newly 
organized companies in 1861 and 1862, brought the completion 
of only ten miles of track, and this was the situation when the 
war had gone on for a year. 17 

The regrant of lands and privileges which the old companies 
had forfeited, together with easier money, injected some show 
of life into railroad enterprises, and when 1863 closed there 
were fifty-six and a half miles ready for operation. The fol- 
lowing year saw over thirty miles added and at the end of 
1865 over two hundred miles of railroad existed in the state. 18 
But to counterbalance this was the alienation of thousands of 
acres from the public domain, as well as the spectre of that 
"Five Million Loan," which was to come up year after year 
until the ghost was finally laid in 1910. 19 

17 William W. Folwell, "The Five Million Loan," in Minnesota His- 
torical Collections, 15 : 189-214. 

18 Minnesota, Statistics, 1869, p. 105. 

19 In the spring of 1858 the voters of Minnesota adopted an amend- 
ment to the constitution providing that the "credit" of the state, to the 
amount of five million dollars, might be loaned for the purpose of facili- 
tating the construction of railroads. In the following two years $2,275,000 
worth of bonds were issued to four companies which had complied with 




Except in flour milling and in the manufactures of lumber, 
Minnesota did not share in the industrial burst of the northern 
states during the war. Even in these lines, while the propor- 
tional increase was impressive, the absolute results were not 
correspondingly great. The total number of manufacturing 
establishments rose from 562 in 1860 to 2057 in 1870, yet the 
capitalization of all these concerns was only $11,806,738. 20 
Nevertheless, this showing was not bad for a pioneer state 
so young as Minnesota, even though the major portion of the 
increase came in the last half of the decade. Milling of flour 
and the primary processes of lumber manufacture accounted 
for more than half the total capital invested and nearly half 
the number of establishments, while these two lines gave 
employment to approximately one-third of the persons engaged 
in industrial pursuits. Some beginnings are seen in the fabri- 
cation of sashes, doors, and blinds, furniture, machinery, agri- 
cultural implements, carriages and wagons, harness, and a few 
other articles. 

After Lee surrendered in 1865, it took a little time for a 
society grown accustomed to war conditions to adjust itself 
again to peace. A temporary economic stagnation accompanied 
the return of the armies to everyday existence. This slacken- 
ing was, however, of short duration. The world marvelled 
at the ease with which a million men who had just laid aside 
their arms could be absorbed into the economic life of the com- 

the requirements by grading nearly two hundred and fifty miles of road- 
bed. The companies, however, failed to fulfill other obligations and the 
governor was forced to start foreclosure proceedings which resulted in 
the transfer of all their privileges and property to the state. The bonds, 
which had greatly depreciated in value, were in form an obligation of 
the state, but all attempts to secure payment were of no avail until 1881 
when provision was made for the issue of Minnesota state railroad 
adjustment bonds in exchange for the old ones. The liquidation of these 
refunding bonds was completed in 1910. Folwell, "The Five Million 
Loan," in Minnesota Historical Collections, 15:189-214; Rasmus S. Saby, 
"Railroad Legislation in Minnesota, 1849 to 1875," in Minnesota His- 
torical Collections, 15:30-49. 

20 Minnesota, Statistics, 1870, p. 63. 




munity, causing scarcely a ripple upon the surface of the social 
fabric. Minnesota, in common with the rest of the states of 
the West, was an important factor in the process. Her vacatll 
and inviting lands, which could be obtained for a trifling cash 
investment plus a large amount of energy, fortitude, and 
patience, stood ready to receive all those who were unwilling 
to return to their old homes to try to fit themselves into a 
situation which had grown strange in their absence. The 
population of the state increased between 1865 and 1870, by 
nearly two hundred thousand, while the taking up of railroad, 
state, and federal lands kept even step with the march of the 
inpouring flood. 21 

It was not, however, returning soldiers alone who swarmed 
to Minnesota. Up to 1865 the population elements of the 
state were not much dissimilar from those of her neighbors 
of the Northwest, or for that matter, of the whole North. In 
1860 something over two-thirds of the inhabitants were of 
native birth. Those of foreign birth, who totalled 58,728, 
were mostly Irish, Germans, English, and British Americans, 
just about the same racial elements to be found anywhere from 
New York to the Mississippi. In 1864 the legislature enacted 
a law to "organize a system for the promotion of immigration 
to the State of Minnesota" in order to offset the further 
drain which might be anticipated on account of the war, as 
well as to secure settlers for waiting prairies. Pamphlets in 
the English, German, and Scandinavian tongues were printed 
and spread broadcast to picture the possibilities of the region 
as well as to remove many misapprehensions as to the soil 
and especially the climate. Beginnings of Scandinavian immi- 
gration had been made as early as the late Fifties, but in 1860 
this element comprised less than 12,000 of the 172,000 people 
in the state. These, like the Germans, had for the most part 
moved on from Wisconsin. But the seed had been planted. 
The watering came when a board of immigration was created 

21 Commissioner of statistics, Minnesota: Its Resources and Pi 
ress, 1870, p. 31. 




in 1867, with Hans Mattson its secretary. Mattson held the 
position of land agent for one of the railroads which traversed 
some of the most desirable portions of the state, hence he was 
able to give definite directions as to favorable points for settle- 
ment. 22 Perhaps to this man, more than to any other one 
factor is due the great Scandinavian migration to Minnesota. 
In 1870 Swedes, Norwegians, and Danes comprised thirteen 
and one-half per cent of the population, and had already begun 
to impress upon the state an indelible mark. In 1860 there 
had been only half as many Scandinavians as there were in 
Wisconsin; by 1870 Minnesota had over fifty-nine thousand 
as against Wisconsin's forty-eight thousand. The Swedes 
alone were pressing close to the lead of the Irish, and in a 
year or so overtook and passed this element. Only the Ger- 
mans could rival the Scandinavians and even they comprised 
but 48,457 souls as against 59,390. 

When men return to the primitive passions brought by war 
there is necessarily a loss of much of the hardly won refine- 
ment which can be a product of peace alone. How long after 
the struggle there will be seen the results of this relapse 
is a matter difficult of determination. All students of the 
Civil War, however, have noted that the years immediately fol- 
lowing 1865 presented an unusual number of examples of low 
public morality. This was the period when the Whisky Ring 
was profiting at the expense of the federal government, and 
when federal officers connived at gross irregularities as well 
as shared in the profits. The Credit Mobilier not only was an 
example of "high finance" in railroading, but it served to blast 
several public careers as well as to sully the reputations of 
prominent men who were not completely overwhelmed by the 
public wrath which followed exposure. The manipulations 
of the Tweed Ring in New York, aided by its intimate relation 
with certain Wall Street interests, exemplify in an exaggerated 
degree, perhaps, the degradation into which most of the larger 

22 Secretary of state, Annual Report, 1866, p. 113; Hans Mattson, 
Reminiscences, the Story of an Immigrant, 97-100 (St. Paul, 1891). 




municipalities had fallen. 23 The whole civil service of the 
United States had become so honeycombed with corruption and 
inefficiency that the reform element of the Republican party 
could, in its campaign from 1870 to 1872, urge with great 
force the need of a complete housecleaning. The old guard 
itself could not present any defense and was forced to adopt 
at least in form the principles of the reformers. 

It would be easy to say, of course, that all this array of 
horrible examples, which was exposed to view in investigation 
after investigation from about 1870 on, could be parallelled 
at many other times in the history of this country or of other 
nations. It might be said that every now and then a people 
has a spasm of reforming zeal and while in this mood can find 
evidences of corruption and laxity if it looks with sufficient 
care; that the period, say from 1872 to 1875, was just one of 
these periods. Furthermore it might be added that a panic 
followed by hard times is likely to produce soul searching on 
the part of a stricken population; religious revivals vie with 
judicial and legislative investigations. 

Still this does not wholly dispose of the case. Not alone 
in the United States after the Civil War, but in Germany after 
the Franco-Prussian War, for instance, keen observers noted 
a recklessness, an abandon, which characterized the economic 
and social life of the people. Everybody was enjoying good 
times, nobody was interested in counting pennies or in inquir- 
ing too carefully into the doings of his neighbor so long as 
his own particular activities were not interfered with. In such 
times the public official who inclined to make the most of his 
position could pursue his course without much fear interrup- 
tion, while the man who desired to remain honest was sorely 
tempted when he perceived the ease with which he, too, might 

23 Charles F. Adams, "A Chapter of Erie," in Charles F. Adams Jr. 
and Henry Adams, "Chapters of Eric, and Other Essays, 4-99 (Boston, 
1871) ; Charles F. Wingate, "An Episode in Municipal Government," in 
the North American Review, 119:359-408; 120:119-174; 121:113-155; 
123 : 362-425 (1874-76). 




profit in the way others were doing. There is no doubt that 1 

the later years of the war and those immediately following 1 

were permeated with this spirit, and that public opinion was 1 

generally inclined to laugh at the "smart" man more than to 1 

be indignant at pilferings or gigantic steals. Our civilization ' 

is too thin and too recent a veneer to stand much hard rubbing, 1 
and war rubs hard. Moreover, the veneer cannot be renewed 
immediately after the struggle ends. 

Did Minnesota experience any of this general laxity which < 

followed the war? If evidences are found shall they be 1 

attributed to a continuation of pioneer times, when there is 1 

a certain lack of regard for the finer products of civilization, 1 

such as the perception of more delicate degrees of public moral- ( 

ity ; or shall they be accounted for by the fact that Minnesota 1 

shared with the rest of the conquering North in a debauch of * 

moral let-down? It would be hard to give a categorical ( 

answer to such a question. It may be said, however, that the \ 

late Sixties and the early Seventies saw a sufficient develop- J 

ment of Minnesota to warrant confident belief that the worst f 

aspects of the pioneer stage ought to have been things of the • 

past. Nevertheless there are many indications that a deplor- t 
able laxity, if nothing worse, permeated the community and 
manifested itself in various irregular transactions. 

One of the most spectacular of the revelations enjoyed by t 

the newspaper reading public was that attending the Seeger r 
Investigation and impeachment. It must be said at the outset 

that the legislature of Minnesota, by paying the state treas- t< 

urer a salary of only one thousand dollars a year, actually, p 

if not deliberately, encouraged all sorts of irregularity. It | 
appeared that for years before this investigation, which came 

in 1873, the state treasurer was accustomed to "loan to and t* 

let bankers and business firms have the use of large sums of t 

the State fund" as well as to draw upon the county treasurers c 

for moneys not yet due and have personal use of such funds, 5 

sometimes for many months. Furthermore the books of the ^ 

treasurer's office were in such a condition that it was impos- jj 




sible to obtain an adequate idea of the financial status of the 
commonwealth. When there came a change in the treasurer's 
office the new incumbent, who happened to be the father-in-law 
of the outgoing treasurer, concealed the fact that large sums 
belonging to the state were not actually turned over, although 
subsequently the deficit was made up. 24 

Such an opportunity as this to attack the party in power 
was not to be overlooked by the Democratic "outs," and this 
attack in turn provoked other revelations. It was discovered 
that county treasurers were also in the habit of failing to 
regard the distinction between the public funds and their own 
money. 25 They loaned the county's money to banks and 
other business firms, and in some instances, at least, received 
the interest themselves. It was further charged that sometimes 
bank officials had exerted themselves to secure the election 
of a particular man as county treasurer, and if the campaign 
proved successful the bank was not the loser. And then, when 
a leading Republican paper could seriously argue that nobody 
of men would convict a man for shielding his son-in-law, there 
is evidence that the standard of public morals was not overly 
high, to say the least. 26 

The disclosures made in 1873 were followed by equally 
sensational ones the next year. Just before the Seeger Inves- 
tigation had lifted the lid, the St Paul Daily Press had 
reviewed the various departmental reports submitted to the 

24 Report of the Special Senate Investigating Committee, Appointed 
to inquire into the Condition of the State Treasury, 5-7 (St. Paul 1873) ; 
Proceedings of the Senate of Minnesota, sitting as a High Court of 
Impeachment for the Trial of William Seeger, Treasurer of State (Min- 
neapolis, 1873). 

25 The St. Paul Daily Press, in its issue of February 27, 1873, affirmed 
that this was happening in all the Democratic counties, and admitted 
that the same thing might have occurred in Republican counties as well. 

26 St. Paul Press, March 6, 8, 1873; Report of the Special Senate 
Committee, Appointed to Investigate the Management of the Office of 
State Auditor, prior to January, 1873, 55 (1875). In February, 1874, 
William Murphy wrote that "there is something rotten in the manage- 
ment of county affairs." Murphy to Donnelly, February 4, 1874, in the 
Donnelly Papers. 




legislature, and, among other comments, took particular pains 
to. felicitate the state upon the efficient service rendered by 
the state auditor. He "closes an administration," the Press 
remarked, "which has been substantially coextensive with the 
ascendancy of the Republican party in his State, embracing 
in its four official terms a period of twelve years, with a terse 
statistical record of the varied questions during that time of 
the more important departments of the State Government 
under his control, which will form an enduring memorial of 
the general economy, prudence and beneficence which have, on 
the whole, characterized the management of State affairs by 
the Republican Party, and of Mr. Mcllrath's own conspicuous 
and honorable share in its marked successes." 27 

The Mcllrath Investigation of 1874 demonstrated the truth 
of the statement made by the Press about the "conspicuous" 
share of the late state auditor. It was found that the auditor, 
in performing his functions as land commissioner, had been 
in the habit of accepting notes secured by a lien upon logs cut 
instead of cash payments for timber sold to lumbermen. In 
many instances before any payment was made the logs would 
have been disposed of. He sold timber at far below the market 
price ; he connived at agreements among prospective purchasers 
of standing timber whereby there was no competition in bid- 
ding ; he had kept in his own name and had received the inter- 
est on bonds purchased with money from the school fund, 
although eventually the bonds were credited to the fund. All 
the accounts of these, as well as other transactions were kept 
in such an ill-ordered manner that Mcllrath himself testified 
before the investigating committee that he could not explain 
them. In all a sum of not less than one hundred thousand 
dollars was unaccounted for, as a result of "irregularities" 
beginning at least as early as 1866. In addition to the above, 
Mcllrath had acquired, in 1868, an interest in a firm which 
entered into a contract with the state for the purchase of the 

™ St. Paul Press, February 1, 1873. 




right to cut timber on some thousands of acres of university 
lands. It is no wonder certain lumbermen were anxious for 
the reelection of Mcllrath at a time when some opposition 
seemed to be developing, especially when it is considered that, 
in addition to reasons which may be suspected from the fore- 
going statements, there had never been a prosecution of tres- 
passers upon the state timber lands during his incumbency. 
As a matter of fact, the committee found that "extraordinary 
inducements were held out to parties to cut timber as tres- 
passers." 28 

Give all allowance possible to frontier conditions, grant every 
excuse to the men engaged in the task of opening a new land, 
and still there remains evidence of a sadly deficient sense of 
public morality. When we find all over the North similar 
conditions which cannot be explained by primitive necessities, 
the conviction grows that there was something abnormal in 
the atmosphere. Add to this the testimony of men high in 
the public estimation of the time, as well as the word of those 
who have sought an explanation of the social phenomena of 
that day, and even the naive confessions of that sanctimonious 
old railroad pirate, Daniel Drew, and it is impossible to con- 
clude that some portion of the explanation is not to be found 
in the war and its aftermath. 29 

If the Civil War teaches that such a social cataclysm stirs the 
mud in the depths of the pool, it also reveals the fact that men 
are stimulated by it to reestimate all social values. Along side 
the loosing of the baser propensities of mankind there comes 

28 In the Report of the Committee Appointed to Investigate the Man- 
agement of the Office of State Auditor the above facts are brought out 
in the formal report of the committee as well as in the testimony accom- 
panying the report. 

29 Bouck White, Book of Daniel Drew, A Glimpse of the Fisk-Gould- 
Tweed Regime from the Inside, 161 (New York, 1910) ; George W. 
Curtis' speech to the New York State Republican Convention, March 22, 
1876, in the New York Tribune, March 23, 1876; speech of George F. 
Hoar in the Congressional Record, 44 Congress, 1 session, vol. 4, part 7, 
p. 63; James Ford Rhodes, History of the United States from the 
Compromise of 1850, vol. 7, ch. 1. 




a renewed interest in many of those problems whose roots 
have been slowly entwining themselves about the inmost parts 
of our social structure. From 1865 down to the panic of 1873 
the labor world was shaken by notable convulsions. Unionism, 
which had had a precarious existence up to the time of the 
war, advanced with remarkable strides. Educational ques- 
tions, including the problem of the education of women, were 
receiving new attention. The temperance movement gained 
a wider following. The same stimuli that induced reflection 
along these lines served in time to turn thought to the corrupt- 
ing sores which had developed in the social body. Those who 
would renovate an educational system or seek to find the true 
relations between capital and labor were not long content to 
tolerate in silence those blots upon our political organization 
which anyone could perceive if he stopped to observe. 

In times like these one naturally desires to learn whether 
it is possible to draw upon the experiences of the Sixties for 
guidance in our present crisis and in the years which are to 
follow the War of 1917. Unfortunately, perhaps, it appears 
that general conditions are so dissimilar that little of a positive 
nature can be found. Among the more striking differences 
may be noted the fact that the Civil War in no way depleted 
the world's accumulated store of products as the present war 
is doing. The South was impoverished by the conflict and 
even yet has not recovered all the ground lost, but the resources 
of the North were not drained to an appreciable extent. This 
was due in part to the fact that so great a portion of the coun- 
try was as yet untouched. Natural resources undreamed of 
in 1865 were to be discovered as the years passed, as, for 
example, the iron mines of Minnesota. Even more it was 
due to a failure to destroy on such a colossal scale as that on 
which the world now destroys. 

America, after the close of the Civil War, offered to the 
people of the world an opportunity unequalled elsewhere. 
Migration on an unprecedented scale, arrested temporarily by 
economic depression in the Seventies and again in the Nineties, 




sent workers to develop untouched possibilities. When the 
present war closes America will no longer be the outlet for the 
land-hungry people of Europe. Some less desirable remnants 
of land will be found here and there, but, except in parts of 
Canada, the land will not be given away to the asker. Further- 
more, it is even a question whether there will not be a reverse 
process. There are indications that there may be a movement 
back to Europe- which will most decidedly affect our future 
social and economic life. 

The Civil War does not help us to see our path in matters 
of collective control of transportation, food, fuel, manufac- 
tures, or in any of the vital problems with which we are now 
grappling under abnormal conditions but which we shall find 
ourselves unable to drop the moment peace is declared. We 
shall find that we have clasped the handles of an electric 
machine the current of which will paralyze our efforts to 
relax our muscles. The world has gone far since 1865 in its 
ideas of the relation of the individual to the community. 

There is, however, one ray of light which the earlier war 
and its effects throw upon existing and future problems. The 
partial economic emancipation and consequent general advance 
in status gained by women during the Rebellion was not lost 
when peace came. It can confidently be stated that what is 
being gained now will be retained; not only that, but it will 
serve as another stepping stone toward political, social, and 
economic equality with men. We shall not go back. 

Could we predict with equal confidence along other lines it 
would be possible to guide our activities today in such a man- 
ner that the grosser blunders might be avoided. But, after 
all is said and done, about the extent of safe prophecy is 
this : war, under modern conditions, unsettles many if not most 
of our institutions; it is as futile to dream of getting back to 
the world in which we lived before 1914 as it is to believe we 
are in the last month by failing to tear a leaf from the calen- 
dar. Nevertheless, it will be the aim of many people to execute 
just this reverse. If the Civil W T ar brings home the lesson 




that it caused men to modify their course and that when it was 
ended society was marching in a somewhat different direction 
than it had been before, then it is possible to keep in mind that 
the same thing will be true when this war ends, with this sole 
qualification : there can be no comparison in the magnitude of 
the change. 

Lester Burrell Shippee 

The University of Minnesota 



In recent years a considerable amount of scholarly research 
has been carried on in the field of the history of the Scan- 
dinavian element in the United States. An illuminating 
illustration of the opportunities open to the scientific historian 
is afforded in Dr. John O. Evjen's recently published book, 
Scandinavian Immigrants in New York, 1630-1674. That 
this field has been but little cultivated need scarcely be pointed 
out. Topics important as well as attractive await the atten- 
tion of the investigator. Indeed, it may safely be asserted 
that a great deal of carefully prepared monographic literature 
must be produced before a definitive general treatment of the 
subject can be written. The industrial or economic history 
of a specific group of Scandinavians, or of that element as a 
whole, in the Northwest, or in a single state of the Northwest ; 
a study of their political influence, similarly restricted in 
scope; an investigation of some of the ramifications of the 
process of amalgamation, perhaps particularly in the direction 
of church affiliation or religious tendencies; various aspects 
of their church history ; biographies of leaders in diverse fields 
of activity; studies placing emphasis upon social and general 
cultural factors in the development of Scandinavian life in 
the United States; the problem of the significance of the 
Scandinavians in the American westward movement : all these 
topics serve merely to suggest profitable subjects for mono- 
graphic study. 

An undertaking necessarily preliminary to such research is 
the comprehensive collecting of the materials for the history 
of the Scandinavian element. In fact, this may well be re- 
garded as a matter of far more immediate importance than 





intensive research. Would it not be wise to attempt to assemble 
at some central depository the rich sources which at present 
are scattered throughout the Northwest and elsewhere? Not 
a little of this material is now located in the libraries of num- 
erous denominational colleges; much of it is to found in 
private collections. Some of it, fortunately, is accessible to 
students and is well cared for by persons who realize its his- 
torical value. But it is to be feared that a far greater amount 
— particularly of manuscript materials, collections of letters, 
diaries, and other valuable papers — is in the possession of 
persons having little or no appreciation of its significance, and 
is consequently neglected and in serious danger of destruction 
from disintegration, fire, and other causes. The immigration 
is on the whole comparatively recent. Much valuable source 
material is therefore contemporary or nearly so, and in many 
cases it is difficult to draw any clear cut line between primary 
and secondary materials. Important chapters in the fascinating 
story of the Scandinavians in the new world, of their dissem- 
ination throughout the country, of their social, political, 
economic, and religious life, will ultimately have to be recon- 
structed from the kind of materials now largely neglected. 
The permanent loss of these precious records would prove a 
calamity no less unnecessary than historically unfortunate. In 
this connection, the story of a journal written by one of the 
early leaders in the movement of immigration to America is 
of interest. When Ansten Nattestad left Illinois in 1838 on 
a journey to Norway via New Orleans and Liverpool, he 
carried with him the manuscripts of Ole Rynning's famous 
"America Book" and Ole Nattestad's account of his observa- 
tions and experiences. Both of these were published in Nor- 
way as small books and had a considerable influence upon 
emigration in the following years. For many years scholars 
have been searching for a copy of Nattestad's book. Nattestad 
himself lived to be an old man, and it appears that in the 
Eighties he gave to the editor of Skandinaven a manuscript 
copy of his book which he had preserved. Shortly thereafter 


the editor's home was destroyed by fire, and with it the 
manuscript. In 1900 two sons of Ole Nattestad located a 
printed copy while on a visit to Norway. In January, 1916, 
this copy was secured by Mr. Havlor L. Skavlem who turned 
it over to the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. As Ole 
Nattestad was the first Norwegian settler in the state of Wis- 
consin this was fitting. Moreover it is most fortunate that 
the book will now be permanently preserved, since, so far as 
is known, it is the only copy in existence. The title will at 
once indicate its great interest as a document of the early 
immigration: Beskrivelse over en Reise til Nordamcrica, 
begyndt den 8de April 1837 og skrevet paa Skibet Hilda saint 
siden fortsat paa Reisen op igjennem de Forenede Stater i 
Nordamerica, af Ole Knudscn Nattestad fra Niimmcdal 
(Drammen, 1839. 31 p.). 

The loss of this book would probably have been irretrievable. 
Beyond question there are hundreds of other documents, 
printed or manuscript, which will be lost permanently if no 
organized effort is made to insure their preservation. They 
may not have the peculiar significance that the Nattestad 
pamphlet possessed, but may, however, have real value. Is it 
not a proper time to agree upon some well formulated, com- 
prehensive plan for the care of these sources? The problem 
involves more than the gathering up of materials in imminent 
danger of loss or destruction. The student who undertakes 
serious study in the field of Scandinavian- American history is 
confronted with the perplexing task of utilizing sources which 
are scattered about in dozens of places, many of them difficult 
to reach, few of them centrally located. This has acted, natur- 
ally, as a deterrent upon scholars attracted by the subject 
matter and has likewise proved a cause of incomplete and 
unauthoritative work. Moreover it is well-nigh impossible to 
ascertain precisely what may be found in the various deposi- 
tories, a condition due not merely to an absence of published 
lists or descriptions of materials, but also to a lack of adequate 
cataloguing. A more serious defect in the present system, 




however, is that few of the small libraries have adequate vaults 
or fireproof rooms in which to preserve their collections, and 
it must be remembered that much of this material can not be 
duplicated. This of course holds true more especially of 
manuscripts. Finally, the small college libraries are usually 
handicapped by a lack of financial resources and of library 

The solution of the problem is to centralize these Scandi- 
navian materials in some depository which gives assurance of 
being a permanent institution and which has the resources 
necessary to an extensive effort in accumulating a great collec- 
tion of printed and manuscript documents, and to an adequate 
and scientific care of the materials which it secures. It must 
arrange the manuscripts, repair and restore the damaged and 
indistinct papers, carefully index them, publish bibliographies, 
descriptive lists, and calendars. Furthermore, under compe- 
tent editorial direction it must undertake the publishing of 
important manuscripts in its possession. It must above all be 
centrally located in order to allow extensive utilization of its 
collections by students and investigators. 

The great bulk of the Scandinavian population in the United 
States is in the Northwest, and the Twin Cities, Minneapolis 
and St. Paul, form the heart of this region. Here are centered 
many of the agencies — religious, social, and industrial — which 
embrace in their scope the great mass of Scandinavians in 
America. Here gather most of the great annual conventions 
of their organizations. Here, too, are situated not only the 
University of Minnesota, but a number of the more important 
Scandinavian denominational colleges. In many respects 
Minneapolis and Saint Paul may be considered the cultural 
center of these people in the United States. Not long ago 
Dr. Vincent as president of the University of Minnesota 
declared his intention of striving to make that institution the 
center for Scandinavian study in this country, a proposal which 
elicited wide spread endorsement among educators. By its 
activity as well as its location the university may be considered 


in a fairway to accomplish its expressed purpose in this respect. 
It is reasonable to conclude, therefore, that the Twin Cities 
should logically be the Mecca of historical investigators in 
this field, and that, all things considered, here is a proper 
place to build up a great, permanent library of the records of 
the Scandinavians in America. 

The Minnesota Historical Society, situated in Saint Paul, 
has recently made a declaration of policy which gives promise 
of a successful solution of the problem. As a state historical 
society this institution has fittingly specialized in the collecting 
of materials relating to the history of the Northwest, and 
particularly the state of Minnesota. During the period since 
its founding — soon seventy years — the society has grown to 
be one of the greatest institutions of its kind in the United 
States. A magnificent and commodious fireproof building, 
costing in the neighborhood of a half a million dollars, has 
just been erected by the state for the purposes of the society. 
In 1915 the superintendent of the society declared that the 
institution would bend its efforts toward the building up of a 
great library of Scandinavian materials. This, in his opinion, 
is an undertaking peculiarly appropriate for the Minnesota 
Historical Society, because of the significant part played by 
Scandinavians in the history of Minnesota and of the North- 
west. Just as it is proposed to make the university a great 
center for the study of the Scandinavian countries, their 
languages and literatures, so it is intended to make the society 
a center for the study of the Scandinavians in this country. 
The society has proceeded vigorously to carry out its policy. 
Already the recipient of the principal newspapers and period- 
icals published by the Scandinavians in the United States, it 
has begun the task of collecting files of old papers and maga- 
zines, reports of religious organizations and educational 
institutions, as well as books, pamphlets, and manuscripts. An 
arrangement has been effected with the University of Minne- 
sota whereby the latter is to cultivate the field of the Scan- 
dinavian countries, languages, and literatures, and turn over 

111 "Hi I 


to the society its materials on the Scandinavians in this country. 
As a consequence of this arrangement the society has acquired 
the extensive O. N. Nelson collection of periodicals, news- 
papers, books, and pamphlets. Formerly one of the most 
comprehensive private collections of its kind, this has now been 
arranged and catalogued, and forms the nucleus of what, it 
is hoped, will become a special library unparalleled in America. 
Other important acquisitions, both printed and manuscript, 
have been made, and the materials will ultimately be put in 
charge of a trained librarian familiar with the Scandinavian 
languages and with the history of the Scandinavians in this 

The success of this undertaking must depend largely upon 
the degree of cooperation accorded it by individuals and organ- 
izations having at heart the preservation of these records. No 
less noble and thrilling than the story of the Puritan fathers 
is this history of the vast wave of Scandinavian immigration 
to the West. The environment in the old world, the eventful 
voyage to the new, the dissemination throughout the continent, 
the breaking of ground, the building of homes and churches, 
the beginning of educational activity, the establishment of a 
position in labor and industry, the gradual entrance into 
American life in all its multiform phases : these are elements 
in an epic half untold, glorious in its recital of achievement, 
and full of inspiring lessons. Surely we can not do less than 
preserve for posterity the extant records of this great move- 
ment. Let us adopt a mature plan; based upon sound, scientific 
principles, and thus insure for future generations the priceless 
treasures of the past and the present. 

Theodore C. Blegen 

Riverside High School 

1918 FATHER JONES 419 


Rev. Father Arthur Edward Jones, archivist of St. Mary's 
College, Montreal, Quebec, died in that city on January 19, 
1918. As archivist of the Jesuits he possessed unrivalled 
opportunities for historical investigation which he utilized to 
good purpose in the publication of much material bearing on 
the story of the early explorers and missionaries of his order. 
He was associated with Dr. Thwaites in the editing of the 
Jesuit Relations and made important contributions to that great 
work. His more important work, however, was in connection 
with the missions to the Huron Indians around the Georgian 
Bay. His work took two main lines, to find the sites of the 
chief mission stations and to record the services of all who had 
any part in those mission enterprises. The results were set 
forth in the Fifth Annual Report of the Ontario Archives 
Department in 1909 under the title "Huronia," bringing to- 
gether practically all the data he had unearthed with regard 
to these missions. The volume is an indispensable work of 
reference to anyone studying Jesuit activity in America in 
the seventeenth century. Of late Father Jones had been 
working more or less on the linguistic writings of Father 
Potier, the originals of which, in five bulky volumes, are in 
the archives of St. Mary's College. These writings, made at 
a time when the Huron tongue was at the height of its use, 
were to have been issued in photo-facsimile by the Ontario 
Government and this plan, held up by the war, will probably 
be carried through when peace comes. Father Jones was a 
fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a member of several 
lof the historical societies of the United States, and was hon- 
jored a few years ago with the degree of Doctor of Law - oi 
the University of Toronto. 

Fred Landon 

London, Ontario 





The demand from the people of Minnesota that the Sioux 
Indians be removed beyond the boundaries of the state came 
as a natural result of the horrors of the Sioux outbreak in 
August, 1862. Ignatius Donnelly, the lieutenant governor, in 
a report of the massacre made to Governor Ramsey as early 
as August 29, declared that the Indians "must disappear or; 
be exterminated." The reason he gave was that otherwise 
immigration to the state would stop. The commissioner of 
Indian affairs in his formal report to the secretary of the; 
interior in November spoke of the "exasperation of the people 
of Minnesota," and the secretary himself urged that the gov- 
ernment abandon its policy of treating the Indians as quasi- 
independent nations with whom treaties must be made, that 
it recognize in theory what had long been the practice, that! 
the Indians were to be moved on whenever their lands were 
needed by advancing settlements. 1 

The general policy advocated by the secretary was not adopt- j 
ed at this time, but as soon as Congress met the specific problem < 
of the removal of the Indians from Minnesota was taken up. ; 
Mr. Windom secured the adoption by the House of a resolution - 
by which the committee on Indian affairs was "instructed to* \ 
inquire as to the most speedy and economical mode of removing r 
beyond the limits of the State of Minnesota all the Indian j 
tribes within said state." 2 In the end the Chippewa were not? p 
interfered with at this time, but an act approved February 16^ c 
1863, declared that the Sioux by "most savage war upon thel 
United States" had lost all their treaty rights, and that "all \ 
lands and rights of occupancy within the State of Minnesota 
... be forfeited to the United States." This was followec 
by an act authorizing the president to remove the Sioux 

1 Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Report, 1862, pp. 7, 22, 68. 

2 37 Congress, 3 session, House Journal, 10 (serial 1155). 


Indians to "a tract of unoccupied land outside of the limits 
of any state." 3 

From this action one might think that there was in Minne- 
sota a formidable band of Sioux Indians. This was not at all 
the case. Of the 6,600 annuity Sioux of the Mississippi, only 
about eighteen hundred had surrendered to General Sibley ; the 
rest had escaped to Dakota or Canada. Of the eighteen hun- 
dred, over three hundred were held as prisoners in a camp 
near Mankato. The others, who were at Fort Snelling, were 
the only ones to whom the law could be applied. Of these, 
Galbraith, the Indian agent, wrote January 27, 1863: "there 
are only sixty men, and those mostly old ones." It was this 
band of women, children, and old men which was deported 
in 1863. 4 

One of the best friends the Indians had at this time was 
the Presbyterian missionary Rev. Thomas S. Williamson, who 
had worked among the Sioux since 1835. When the Indians 
were rounded up by Sibley the missionary called to his aid his 
son, John P. Williamson, who at the time was teaching school 
in Indiana. Early in 1863 this son received from the Ameri- 
can Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions the 
appointment to go with the Sioux to their new home for 
permanent work among them. An account of his journey 
with these poor Indians, contained in a letter written to his 
mother, was found in a collection of Williamson papers recently 
presented to the Minnesota Historical Society. This letter, 
printed below, contains information about the circumstances 
of the trip and the conditions under which it was performed. 

Frances H. Relf. 

Minnesota Historical Society 
St. Paul 

3 United States, Statutes at Large, 12:652-654, 819. 

4 Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Report, 1863, p. 296. 




John P. Williamson to His Mother, May 13, 1863 
[Williamson Papers — A. L. S.] 

St. Joseph Mo. May 13, 1863 

My Dear Mother, 

I am glad to have the time to write you a few lines, for I know 
you will be anxious to hear how we are getting along. For 
myself I am in very good health in deed, and the Indians with 
us are as well as when we started. There was one small child 
died and we buried it at a wood yard a little below Burlington, 

You will have heard long ago some things about us starting. 
770 5 left on Monday the 4th of May in the Steamboat Hanni- 
bal. 6 They were all Lower Sioux. 7 Mr Hinmann 8 and Thos. 
A Robertson 9 went with them and I waited till the next day 
about dark when the rest got on board the Northerner. There 
were 540 of them. 10 We also left about 200 who were going 
to be let go around with the Scouts. 11 Among those we left 

5 There were 762 Indians according to the St. Paul Daily Press and 
the St. Paul Pioneer for May 5, 1863. The Press adds that in the whole 
company there were only about fifty men. 

6 The St. Paul papers state that "Davenport" was the name of the boat. 
7 They included the bands of Wabasha, Good Road, Wakute, Passing 

Hail, and Red Legs. St. Paul Press, May 5, 1863. 

8 "The Rev. S. D. Hinman, a zealous missionary to the Dacotahs, who 
was in charge of the Mission of St. John at Red Wood, at the time of 
the breaking out of the Indian War, accompanied the Indians who left 
on Monday evening in the steamer Davenport, and will remain in charge 
of them on their new reservation near Fort Randall, Missouri." — St. Paul 
Pioneer, May 6, 1863. 

9 Thomas A. Robertson -is listed as a half-breed in the census of the 
Indian camp at Fort Snelling taken December 2, 1862. Commissioner of 
Indian Affairs, Report, 1863, p. 316. 

10 The St. Paul Press of May 6 gives the number as 334. The same 
account adds that they consisted of the bands of Taopi, Eagle Head, and 
Yellow Medicine. 

II In May, 1863, General Sibley led an expeditionary force of about 
four thousand men against the uncaptured Sioux. Part of this force 
consisted of 170 scouts headed by Major Joseph R. Brown who had pre- 
ceded Galbraith as agent to the Sioux. William W. Folwell, Minnesota, 
the North Star State, 234. 




at Ft Snelling were all the Renvilles 12 including the Widow, 13 
Paul, Simon, Kawanke, and all the Campbells. 14 We had a very 
pleasant trip down to Hannibal which you know is a little below 
Quincy on the Misouri side — where we got Saturday evening 
about 4 O'clock. We stayed there over the Sabbath which I was 
very glad of, though we did not have much rest. There were 
so many visitors thronging around them all day. We had the 
large freight depot for the Indians where we had meeting twice 
& shut most of the whites out. We left there Monday after- 
noon about 3 O'clock. They crowded them into freight cars about 
60 in a car, and I thought that they would suffer a great deal, 
but it came up a rain & cooled off the air so that when we got 
off here the next morning (yesterday) they got off in good 
spirits. And we are now camped in 60 soldiers tents waiting 
for the boat that is to take us up the river. It will probably be 
2 or 3 days before it is here & then we shall probably be nearly 
two weeks going up the river, so that I have not much expecta- 
tion of getting to our new home before the first of June. They 
did not bring the other Indians by the same route that we have 
come but took them down to St Louis, and we are now waiting 
for them. They expect to put us all on the same boat. If they 
do I think it will be nearly as bad as the middle passage for the 
slaves. Coming down there was enough for comfort in our 
company of 540 — more than would have been comfortable on 
the Lower deck if they had not had two or three barges all along 
the way, and on the Missouri river they cant run barges they 

12 The Renvilles were a large family of mixed-bloods. Nine of them 
are given in a list of scouts made out by Sibley under the date of May 
28, 1863. The first on the list, Gabriel, has written an account of the 
Sioux outbreak in which he claims that it was at his suggestion that 
the government decided to use half-breeds and even full-blooded Indians 
who had been faithful to the whites in the capacity of scouts. Sibley 
Papers; Minnesota Historical Collections, 10:611. 

13 This was probably the Rosalie Renville who is listed among the 
heads of families in the census of the Indian camp. Commissioner of 
Indian Affairs, Report, 1863, p. 316. 

14 In Sibley's list of scouts are to be found the names Paul Ma/a- 
Koo-ta-Mannee, Simon Awagmannee, Joseph Kawanke, A. J. Campbell, 
and Scott Campbell. The last two are also listed among the half-breed 
heads of families in the census of the camp. 




say so I dont know where they will stow themselves even if 
they give them the whole boat. But then folks say they are only 
Indians. 15 In the manifest of freight taken down by the North- 
erner they published jo horses, 540 Indians. 

I am glad I was not with the other Indians for I would rather 
come the way we have than by St. Louis. St. Joseph is a very 
pretty place nearly as large I should judge as St Paul, though 
it shows the effects of the war more than St. Paul. All the 
way by railroad thro Misouri we could see some of the effects 
of Secession. Some houses burnt — a good many deserted & 
the farms gone to rack. Now however all north of the Mis- 
ouri feel comparitively secure. And they make Secessionists 
keep shut up pretty close. I have heard more Union talk and 
less Secesh talk since I came into Misouri than before. We 
are now just over the river from Kansas and they are a raving 
kind of Union folks there I judge. 

We have not heard anything more about where we are going 
than when we started. We have only heard that the Superin- 
tendent went up past here with some supplies for Indians. 16 The 
Misouri river is pretty low now but they say a rise is coming 
down the Platte, and the Misouri generally begins to rise about 
this time. 

I dont get along writing very well as I stay in a tent adjoining 
the Indian Camp & they keep coming in and bothering me. There 
is no one along for an interpreter Lorenzo is the best English 

15 The St. Paul Press for May 5 gives an account of the treatment 
the Indians on the "Davenport" received when they passed through St. 
Paul. Led by a soldier who had been wounded at Birch Coolie the crowd 
"commenced throwing boulders at the Indians and as they were so closely 
packed upon the boiler deck as to be scarcely able to move it was impos- 
sible for them to escape the missiles. Several of the squaws were hit 
upon the head and quite severely injured." No violence was reported 
when the "Northerner" left the next day though again at crowd gathered 
as the boat lay at levee. 

16 The superintendent was Clark W. Thompson who had come to 
Minnesota in 1853, and in 1861 had been appointed to the northern super- 
intendency. His headquarters were in St. Paul, but he had gone in 
advance to purchase supplies and select the new home for the Sioux. He 
left St. Joseph on May 5 and reached Fort Randall on the nineteenth. 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Report, 1863, p. 310. 




talker there is. So that they want me to interpret a great deal. 
The man in charge of these is named Benj. Thompson. 17 
Whether Agent Galbraith is going to come around & he our 
Agent I doubt some, though some who saw him said he expected 
to come around in a week or so afterwards. 18 And Dr. Wake- 
field 19 told me he was coming around with him, though I hope 
to never see him 20 out here, & all the Indians wish tin- same 
thing most heartily. 

The Indians have a great deal of singing on the road. In the 
Steamboat in the cars & in the camp & they would sing a good 
deal more but wherever they sing the Whites gather around so 
thick that is really very unpleasant. 

I hope to hear from you soon by way of Ft Randall 

Your own Son 

John P. Williamson 

17 Benjamin Thompson came to St. Paul from Pennsylvania in 1850. 
His acquaintance with the Sioux, though of a business character, led 
him to take an active interest in their welfare. He was in sympathy with 
the work of Joseph R. Brown and the missionaries with the Indians, 
and this work he himself helped to carry on when in 1867 he became 
agent of the Sisseton and Wahpeton bands of the Sioux in Dakota 
Territory. St. Paul and Minneapolis Daily Pioneer Press, April 16, 1861 ; 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Report, 1867, p. 245; 1869, pp. 323-326. 

18 Galbraith left St. Paul for St. Joseph May 20, on his way to Fort 
Randall. Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Report, 1863, p. 311. 

19 Dr. J. L. Wakefield located at Shakopee in 1854. He was at this 
time Indian physician under Galbraith. St. Paul Pioneer, February 19, 

20 The reference is probably to Galbraith rather than to Wakefield 
Galbraith was a political appointee without any special qualifications Eor 
the position of Indian agent. His incompetence may have been a factor 
in bringing about the outbreak in 1862. 


Marches of the Dragoons in the Mississippi Valley: an Account 
of Marches and Activities of the First Regiment United 
States Dragoons in the Mississippi Valley between the Years 
1833 and 1850. By Louis Pelzer. (Iowa City, State His- 
torical Society of Iowa, 1917. x, 282 p.) 

From 1833 to 1850, the boundary dates of this book, the 
frontier of settlement in America remained more nearly perma- 
nent than during any similar length of time before or since. It 
was agreed on all sides that the limit of white settlement was in 
sight. The great western plains were impossible from an agri- 
cultural standpoint; white men could never prosper there. This 
situation was by no means unfortunate for it made easy the solu- 
tion of the Indian problem. A wise providence had stocked the 
plains with an inexhaustible supply of game, thus fitting them 
superbly to become the future home of all the Indians. Apologies 
for the policy of removal were, therefore, unnecessary. The 
whites were manifestly destined to inhabit the eastern half of the 
continent, but the Far West was as obviously reserved forever to 
the Indians. Between the two sections a line of forts, garrisoned 
by United States troops, guaranteed peace to white and redskin 

Mr. Pelzer's book is designed to be a "cross sectional view" 
of the work of the army in maintaining this frontier. The First 
Regiment of United States Dragoons, whose marches and coun- 
termarches it chronicles, was organized in 1833 for service in 
the West. Recruits from all sections of the union were gathered 
and trained at St. Louis, and afterwards in detachments, small 
and large, they were sent throughout the western half of the 
Mississippi Valley "in the work of frontier defense, garrison 
duty, treaty negotiations, marches, expeditions, patrol duty, ex- 
ploration, and in the enforcement of federal laws." During the 
seventeen years that the book covers, certainly the dragoons 
engaged in about all the types of army service possible and in 



giving a history of their marches the author achieves his objec- 
tive. The reader gets unmistakable impressions of the character 
of army life along the frontier. 

The facts which the book records, Mr. Pelzer tells us, were 
gleaned from "officers' reports, the accounts of travellers, post 
records, diaries, journals, order books, and correspondence," a 
great quantity of which he has been at some pains to examine. 
By consolidating the reference notes into about twenty pages at 
the end of the volume instead of distributing them through the 
text, as customarily is done, the author avoids the necessity of 
a formal bibliography, yet presents in compact form a critical 
estimate of his sources. While the exploitation of this material 
brings out little that is essentially new, the reader will willingly 
concede that it "enriches our knowledge of the staples of western 
history." We are not only given additional proof of the weak- 
ness of the American army, but we get "close-up" views of the 
results of the policy of Indian removal, of the government's 
efforts to maintain its treaties, and to preserve order among the 
western settlers as well as among the Indians themselves. We 
see the soldier unconsciously at work to destroy the frontier he 
is meant to protect, opening up and guarding new routes of 
trade and travel, and occasionally revealing the fitness of bits of 
country for white habitation. We find overwhelming evidence 
of the efficacy of whiskey, sold at the "exorbitant price" of "25 
cts a pt" (p. 31), in undermining the character of Indian and 
soldier alike. 

But the narrative is undeniably monotonous. Possibly part 
of this monotony is unavoidable, but the plan of the book does 
nothing to lessen it. The volume contains seventeen chapters of 
an average length of about twelve pages. Nearly every chapter 
is the record of an expedition in which some of the dragoons 
participated. In chapter 4 a visit is made to the Pawnee Pict 
village, in chapter 5 Colonel Kearny leads his command along the 
River Des Moines, in chapter 6 the Dragoons march all the way 
to the Rocky Mountains, this being "the eleventh mounted expe- 
dition of Colonel Henry Dodge," and so on. With unavoidable 
changes of scenery, quantity and quality of Indians, buffalo, and 
water, each journey is like the other. One recalls almost with 





a feeling of affection the ever recurring "From thence they pro- 
ceeded" of Xenophon's Anabasis. Nor is the situation greatly 
improved by the author's frequent desire to feature "the beauties 
of a prodigal nature" (p. 54), and to describe minutely the animal 
life of the plains in precivilized times. Buffalo become especially 
wearisome. On fifty-seven out of two hundred and thirty- 
seven pages the diligent indexer has found them in sufficient 
numbers to justify mention. 

An appendix of more than fifty pages reproduces the Journal 
for the spring and summer of 1843 of Captain Nathan Boone, 
a son of Daniel Boone. In this year Captain Boone as an officer 
of the Dragoons explored a considerable part of the territory 
drained by the Arkansas River and its branches, and in the 
Journal he records the daily activities of his party. The docu- 
ment contains extensive, and possibly valuable, observations on 
the geological formation, vegetation, and game of the region, but 
on the whole is rather a tedious performance. 

John D. Hicks 

The Political History of the Public Lands from 1840 to 1862 
By George M. Stephenson, Ph. D. (Boston, Richard G. 
Badger, 1917. 296 p.) 

In this interesting and valuable study the author has attempted 
three things: (1) "to trace the history of the public land legisla- 
tion in Congress;" (2) "to portray the sentiment of the different 
sections of the country relative to the disposal of the public 
domain;" and (3) "to estimate the influence of the public lands 
on the political and legislative situation in general in the period 
from 1840 to 1862." The study which has been accepted as a 
doctoral dissertation at Harvard, is based upon extensive re- 
search, particularly in the Congressional Globe and contemporary 
newspapers, the former being the principal source for the legis- 
lative history and the latter for reflecting the sentiment of the 
country. The work indicates a careful reading of many news- 
papers of the period in all sections of the country, the files in the 
Harvard College Library, the Boston Public Library, the Library 
of Congress, and the libraries of the state historical societies of 
Wisconsin and Minnesota being used for this purpose. This 




volume will be of particular interest to readers in Minnesota 
because of the extensive use made of Minnesota new spaper- and 
the frequency of footnote references to this material. The Con- 
gressional Globe and the newspapers, extensive as the list of the 
latter is, by no means constitute the only materials covered by 
the researches of the author. Other materials consist of con- 
temporary correspondence, memoirs, and diaries. The reader is 
impressed with the careful and diligent work of the author, and 
the frequency of footnote references makes it possible to check 
the accuracy of his conclusions. One chapter is devoted to 
bibliography, but this is not critical as regards secondary material. 

The work is divided into fifteen chapters, the first six of which 
deal with the history of the public lands to the beginning of 
national homestead agitation. Distribution, preemption, and 
graduation, the bearing of these upon the tariff and other ques- 
tions of the time, and the attitude of the sections towards these 
various phases of the public land question are carefully traced 
out by the author. The hostility of the South towards homestead 
legislation, the connection between the homestead bill and the 
Kansas-Nebraska bill, and the relation of the homestead question 
to the election of 1860 are all considered. These chapters con- 
stitute a refreshing and, in some ways, a new view of old and 
familiar topics. The importance of the public lands in our 
national history has not until recently been adequately considered. 
That they had a very great importance cannot be doubted; thai 
the importance might be over emphasized in a special study of 
this kind must also be recognized. The reader of tin's volume 
has the feeling that the author has adequately broughl out the 
significance of the public lands without giving them undue impor- 
tance, particularly as regards the relation of the homestead- 
movement to the Kansas-Nebraska bill and the election of I860. 

The book is readable and the text is accompanied by several 
maps showing the votes in Congress on various phases of public 
land legislation. Some minor errors have crept in, but these in 
no way mar the many good features of the book, which is a 
distinct contribution to our knowledge of this interesting and 
important phase of our history. 

Wilson P. ShortRIDGE 



The Fur Trade of North America and Some of the Men Who 
Made It and Maintain It. By Albert Lord Belden. (New- 
York, The Peltries Publishing Company, -1917. 591 p.) 

In the absence of both a preface and an introduction the 
reader can only conjecture that the purpose of the author in 
writing this book was to provide a handbook of furs and the 
fur trade. The volume consists of brief sketches and notes on 
the various aspects of the fur trade, principally in North America. 
These include descriptions of fur bearing animals and their 
habits, methods of trapping, the preparation and marketing of 
skins, the history of the trade in well-known American markets, 
sketches of men and firms identified with this business, and ex- 
planations of trade terms and customs. 

It is to be regretted that after having collected a large amount 
of material the author of this somewhat bulky volume did not 
spend enough additional time and work in the task of organizing 
his results to make them readily accessible. The reader is con- 
fused by a quantity of information put together with little appar- 
ent regard for unity of thought or chronological order. "Early 
Traders," "New York," "Methods," "Boston," and the modern 
"Cold Storage" follow each other in rapid succession, while 
biographical sketches of prominent furriers are inserted between 
descriptions of "Muskrats" and "Civit Cats," "Automobile Furs" 
and "Prime — Unprime" furs. There are no references to the 
sources the author has used, so the reader is unable to deter- 
mine how exhaustive his study has been. Much of his infor- 
mation seems to have been drawn from secondary material 
with the result that omissions and errors have crept in. In 
describing the fur trade in St. Paul and Minneapolis (pp. 92-98) 
Mr. Belden makes no mention of Henry H. Sibley who, as a 
partner in the American Fur Company, exercised a powerful 
influence on the fur trade of the Northwest for many years. 
Norman W. Kittson (p. 26) did not come to Fort Snelling until 
1834. Moreover he was engaged at the fort as a sutler for four 
years before opening a trading post for himself. In a general 
survey of the North American fur trade a mere mention is not 
an adequate notice of Manuel Lisa (p. 81) whose life is insepa- 
rably linked with the development of the early Missouri fur 




trade. These and similar shortcomings lead to the conclusion 
that the author has not sufficiently evaluated and organized his 

Nevertheless the book is an interesting one; it is well printed 
and attractively illustrated. Much of the material is unique, 
while an index goes far toward remedying the deficiencies in 
organization. Doubtless many readers will welcome it as a sug- 
gestive and usable reference book. 

Jeannette Saunders 


An interesting paper on "The Influence of Geographic Factors 
in the Development of Minnesota" was read by Mr. Chessley J. 
Posey, assistant professor of geography at the University of 
Minnesota, at the stated meeting of the executive council on April 
8. The meeting was open to the public and was attended by an 
audience of about sixty members of the society and others. 

The museum and gallery on the third floor of the Historical 
Building were opened to the public on April 8. All exhibits will 
be temporary in character until the new equipment of cases is 
received, and even then it is expected that much of the material 
will be kept in storage the greater part of the time. It will be so 
arranged, however, as to be readily accessible, and from it selec- 
tions will be made from time to time for special exhibits. One 
such special exhibit of objects of war interest was on display 
during April and plans have been made for exhibits in connection 
with the dedication of the building. The number of visitors to 
the museum now averages about sixty a day. 

The following new members, all active, have been enrolled 
during the quarter ending April 31, 1918: Walter L. Mayo and 
George T. Withy of St. Paul ; George M. Stephenson of Minne- 
apolis ; and Charles H. Hopkins of Fairfax. Deaths among the 
members during the same period were as follows : Francis A. 
Sampson of Columbia, Missouri, February 4; William Jay 
Whipple of Winona, February 5 ; Hon. George N. Lamphere of 
Palouse, Washington, February 10; Hubert Howe Bancroft of 
San Francisco, March 2; Hon. Lyndon A. Smith of St. Paul, 
March 5 ; John A. Stees of St. Paul, April 14 ; and Hon. Frank 
Ives of Cass Lake, April 16. 


Through the courtesy of Dr. Folwell the society has received 
two small but valuable collections of manuscripts. These con- 
sist of some papers of Hon. William S. King, presented by his 





grandson Mr. Lindon S. King of Minneapolis, and sonic papers 
of Rev. T. S. Williamson, the pioneer missionary, presented by 
Mrs. Helen M. Williamson, widow of his son Henry M. William- 
son, who died recently at Portland, Oregon. 

Dr. Folwell was also instrumental in obtaining for the society 
a copy of the "Boyhood Reminiscences of General Huggins," 
recently written by General Eli Lundy Huggins for his nephews. 
As the son of Alexander Huggins, a Presbyterian missionary to 
the Sioux, General Huggins experienced many of the hardships 
and adventures of pioneer life in Minnesota, some of which he 
describes most entertainingly. Of especial interest are his account 
of a trip made in an ox cart from Traverse des Sioux to Lac Qui 
Parle, October, 1845, and his description of a keel boat voyage 
from Lac Qui Parle to Kaposia and return, on which he accom- 
panied his parents in August, 1849. 

Company C of the One Hundred and Thirty Fifth United 
States Infantry (First Minnesota) has deposited its trophies 
with the society for the duration of the war. These consist of 
a flag used by the company in the battle of Manila, a "National 
Defense Trophy" shield, and a large number of loving cups. 
The latter are kept in two mahogany cases which are now placed 
in the second floor corridor of the Historical Building. 

From Dr. Guy S. Ford, a member of the council of this society 
who is now serving as chairman of the division of civic and edu- 
cational cooperation of the Committee on Public Information 
in Washington, the society has received samples of some of the 
the literature prepared by the Committee on Public Information 
to be dropped behind the German lines from aeroplanes. These 
consist of German translations of President Wilson's addresses 
to Congress on December 5 and January 8. In the latter special 
attention is drawn by means of underscoring to the parts of the 
addresses which were not printed in the German papers. 

The Plymouth Church (Minneapolis) has presented bound 
volumes of its calendars for the years 1915, 1916, and 1917, 
which bring the society's file, beginning with the year 1911. up 
to January, 1918. With the weekly calendars are bound programs 


of various church organizations and pamphlet editions of ser- 
mons. This policy of depositing ephemeral material with the 
society is one that may well be adopted by other churches, for it 
insures a complete and permanent file that is accessible to the 
public as well as to the people directly interested in the church. 

Mr. Stan. D. Donnelly of St. Paul has presented to the 
society an excellent portrait of his grandfather, Ignatius Don- 
nelly, painted by Nicholas Brewer about 1890. Inasmuch as the 
society possesses a very large and valuable collection of the 
papers of Ignatius Donnelly, it is peculiarly appropriate that this 
painting should be preserved in its gallery. 

To S. W. Frasier of St. Paul and E. F. Joubert of Wheaton 
the society is indebted for files of the Browns Valley Reporter 
from May 20, 1880 to July 4, 1889 and of the Inter-Laken 
Tribune (Browns Valley) from March to June, 1897. The 
Reporter was started by Mr. Frasier in 1880 and was the first 
paper printed in Traverse County. 

Mrs. E. C. Becker of St. Paul recently presented a framed 
pastel portrait of her father, George Augustus Hamilton, done 
by "Jaeger" in 1888. Mr. Hamilton was a member of the society 
and served as its president in 1869. 

The firm of Lee Brothers, photographers of St. Paul, has 
presented, through Mr. K. L. Fenney, a set of twelve panorama 
pictures of units of Minnesota troops engaged in the war. 

A muzzle-loading rifle, a powder horn, and a deerskin pouch, 
which were for years the property of John Bateman of Spring 
Valley, one of the pioneers of southern Minnesota, have been 
presented by G. W. Bateman of Alexandria and W. H. Loomis 
of Richey, Montana, son and grandson of Mr. Bateman. A 
short history of the gun, written by John Bateman in 1905, 
accompanies the gifts. 

Mr. Joseph N. Prokes of Jackson, Minnesota, has presented 
two old copper kettles found by him several years ago near the 
Des Moines River in Jackson County. They appear to be of 
European manufacture, and it is surmised that they were lost 
or abandoned by some pioneer settler at the time of the Indian 
outbreak. These articles are interesting additions to the museum. 


The Nebraska State Historical Society has begun the publica- 
tion of a monthly paper entitled Nebraska History and Record 
of Pioneer Days, the first issue of which appeared in February. 
The editor, Addison E. Sheldon, superintendent of the society 
states that "It is the intention to make this journal a piece of 
popular literature, — as distinguished from academic. It will aim 
to present in clear and attractive form, fact, story, comment and 
criticism relating to the history of Nebraska." 

In a brief survey entitled, The American Indians North of 
Mexico, (Cambridge, 1917. 169 p.) William H. Miner has 
undertaken to supply a want which he feels exists for a "read- 
able, comprehensive . . . authentic account of the original 
inhabitants of the American continent, which may ... be 
termed popular." The book contains a bibliography designed 
especially for the use of persons wishing to begin a reading 
course on the American Indians. 

The American Indian Magazine for October-December, 1917. 
is a special Sioux number, and contains much material of interest 
to the student of the history of this tribe. Among the contribu- 
tions are "The Sioux Outbreak of 1862," by Arthur C. Parker, 
and "The Sioux of Yesterday and Today," by Charles A. East- 

An article on "Indian Land Titles in Minnesota," by Gordon 
Cain, in the February number of the Minnesota Law Review 
summarizes the legal aspects of the famous White Earth land 
cases which play so prominent a part in the recent history of the 
Ojibway Indians. 

Both the March and the April issues of Iowa and War con- 
tain material of Minnesota interest. The former consists of a 
brief sketch of "The Black Hawk War," by Jacob Van dor Zee, 
and the latter is devoted to an account of "Border Defense in 
Iowa During the Civil War," bv Dan E. Clark. Mr. Clark's 





narrative treats of the effect upon the neighboring state of the 
Sioux uprising in Minnesota. 

A suggestive piece of work in the field of local history is 
Iowa Stories, Book One, (Iowa City, 1917. 138 p.) by Clarence 
R. Aurner. The book is a series of brief essays on Iowa pioneer 
life, written in a simple style for the use of school children. 

The Ashley-Smith Explorations and the Discovery of a Central 
Route to the Pacific, 1822-18 29 (Cleveland, Arthur H. Clark 
Company, 1918. 352 p.) is a valuable contribution to the his- 
tory of the Far West. The editor, Harrison Clifford Dale, has 
included, besides the original journals, accounts of the fur trade 
and explorations in the region before and during the period 
covered by the journals themselves. 

Ernest Cawcroft contributes a sketch of "Donald Mackenzie ; 
King of the Northwest," to the February issue of the Canadian 
Magazine. In it he states that a biography of this important 
figure in the history of the fur trade is being written by Alex- 
ander Mackenzie of Toronto. 

"A Comparison of Transportation on the Mississippi Basin 
Rivers and the Great Lakes," by A. E. Parkins, in the Journal 
of Geography for February deals mainly with present day con- 
ditions but contains some historical material. 

In its series on "State Builders of the West," the Western 
Magazine includes sketches of "Stephen Miller, Fourth Governor 
of Minnesota," in the February number and "William R. Mar- 
shall, Fifth Governor of Minnesota," in the April number. The 
April number contains also a sketch of St. Cloud, under the 
heading "O-za-te (The Forks of the Road)," by C. L. Llew- 
ellyn, which is partly historical. In the March number is an 
article entitled "Developing an Insurance Center," by Edmond L. 
DeLestry, which contains information about the history of insur- 
ance companies in the Twin Cities. 

Sections five and six of the second volume of Danske i Amer- 
ika, which appeared recently, contain considerable material 
relating to the Danish element in Minnesota. The publication of 
this work was begun by the C. Rasmussen Company, Minneapolis. 




in 1917. The first volume deals with the Danish immigration 
as a whole, while the second volume, which is being published 
serially, contains studies of this element in special localities. 

En Norsk Bygds Historic (1917. 240 p.) is the title of a his- 
tory of a Norwegian settlement in North Bottineau County, 
North Dakota, by Olav Redal. The book contains a large amount 
of biographical material. 

Salomons Almanak for igiy: De Forenende Staters Danskc 
Almanak, Haand og Aarbog (Seattle, 1917. 208 p.) is the fourth 
of an interesting series of year books edited by Michael Salomon. 
In addition to a valuable collection of data on the Danish element 
in the United States, the book contains a "Who's Who" of Danish 

The translation of Ole Rynning's True Account of America by 
Theodore C. Blegen, which appears in the November number of 
the Bulletin, is noticed in two Scandinavian papers. In the 
Minneapolis Tidendc of February 28, Carl G. O. Hansen dis- 
cusses Mr. Blegen's work at some length, including in his review 
a sketch of Rynning. A briefer notice is printed in the February 
20 issue of Folkebladet (Minneapolis). Both reviewers feel 
that the translating and editing of this little book is an important 
contribution to the study of the Scandinavian element in America. 

The History Teachers' Magazine for February reprints Carl 
Becker's article on "The Monroe Doctrine and the War" from 
the May, 1917, number of the Minnesota History Bulletin. 

The Minneapolis Tribune of March 31 contains an article 
entitled "The Giant Dam That Harnesses Energy of Mighty 
Chippewa River," which is of interest to Minnesotans because it 
attributes the early development of water power on the Chippewa 
to one of Minnesota's pioneer lumbermen, Frederick Weyer- 
haeuser. As a preface to a description of a large present-day 
project to utilize the water power of the Chippewa Falls, the 
Tribune tells of the lumber mills operated by the Chippewa Lum- 
ber and Boom Company, in which Mr. Weyerhaeuser was a 
controlling factor, in the days when lumbering was at its height 
in that region. 


The November 4, 1917, issue of the La Crosse Tribune and I 
.Leader-Press contains an excellent biographical sketch of Cad- 
wallader C. Washburn who, while not a citizen of Minnesota, 
was closely identified with its economic history as the builder 
and developer of the famous Washburn mills, which he estab- 
lished in Minneapolis in 1876. 

Under the title "Interesting Grain Case of 1869-72" the Lake 
City Graphic Republican of March 22 prints the history of a 
suit started by some Wabasha County farmers to determine the 
title to a large amount of wheat which had been secretly sold and 
shipped by the Atkinson and Kellogg Elevator Company, with 
whom the farmers had deposited their grain for safe-keeping. 

The March 10 issue of the Minneapolis Journal contains an 
article in which the general development of the banking business 
in Minneapolis during the last quarter of a century is discussed 
in connection with an account of some ^of the earlier banks and 

"Fifty Years Old Today," is the title of an historical resume 
of the St. Paul Dispatch which appears in the February 28 issue 
of that paper. In addition to an account of the growth and 
development of the Dispatch, the article contains biographical 
material concerning the men most closely identified with its j 

"The History of Medicine in Minneapolis," by Dr. Arthur S. 
Hamilton is published in three parts in the Journal-Lancet, be- 
ginning with the March number. The article contains consid- 
erable valuable material, much of which the author gathered 
from the files of the Twin City newspapers. 

The reminiscences of George Day, in which he describes his 
experiences as a pioneer in the region of Excelsior, have appeared 
serially in recent issues of the Minnetonka Record. Of especial 
interest is his account of the numerous unsuccessful attempts 
to establish cities on the shores of Lake Minnetonka, most of 
which failed during the Panic of 1857. 

In an article entitled, "University of Minnesota Will Be 50 
Years Old Tomorrow," the Minneapolis Journal of February 17 




surveys briefly conditions in the University when it was estab- 
lished and at the present time. Pictures of "Old Mam," the 
first president, William Watts Folwell, and President Burton, 
accompany the article. 

The origin of township names in Dakota County is discussed 
in the January 18 issue of the Dakota County Tribune. 

A brief history of the Christian Church at Austin is printed 
in the Mower County Transcript-Republican of January 23 in 
connection with an account of the dedication of a new church 

The February 27 issue of the St. Cloud Times contains an 
historical resume of the congregation of the First Presbyterian 
Church of St. Cloud, which dedicated a new church building 
Sunday, February 24. 

In its account of the annual meeting of the Waseca County 
Anti-Horse Thief Detective Society held at Waseca, February 16, 
the Waseca Journal Radical of February 20 tells something of 
the early work of this organization, which was established in 
pioneer days. 

The Lake Pepin Valley Old Settlers' Association held its 
annual meeting at Lake City, February 7 ; the Winona County 
Old Settlers' Association met at Winona, February 22 ; the 
Danish Pioneers met in Minneapolis, February 24; and the 
annual meeting of the Canby Old Settlers' Association was held 
at Canby, March 13. 

In its issues from November 3, to February 9 the Saturday 
Evening Post (Burlington, Iowa) publishes an account of the 
"Indian Outbreak" by William Cairncross in which he tells 
of his experiences in the region of Fort Ridgely and New Ulm 
during the Sioux uprising. The "Tales of a Grandfather" by 
the same author, which are now appearing in the Post, contain 
considerable information concerning early social and economic 
conditions in Minnesota. 


Vol. 2, No. 7 
Whole No. 15 
August, 1918 


Geography and history are two branches of knowledge that 
are very closely related. Whether recording the history of 
to-day or that of some past epoch, the historian writes most 
accurately when he has in mind, as his background, the 
geographic conditions of the times of which he writes. The 
geographer, in turn, must study the pages of history if he 
wishes to comprehend fully the geographic conditions of any 
period, the present not excepted. Some one has tersely defined 
history as geography set in motion, meaning thereby that the 
geography of to-day becomes the history of to-morrow, a 
definition that geographers can accept; to speak of its accept- 
ance by historians would be presumption on my part. 

In considering the influence of geography in the settlement 
and development of Minnesota a brief statement of the factors 
involved will be of advantage, since it will indicate the general 
lines along which the discussion will proceed. Among geogra- 
phers it is generally conceded that a study of the geography of 
a region embraces a discussion of the climate, the topography 
and relief, the question of glaciation, the hydrography, the 
mineral resources, the flora, the fauna, the soils, the position 
with reference to lines of commerce and accessibility, and, 
finally, the people themselves. It is purposed to show briefly 
and, therefore, rather generally, some of the ways in which 
each of these factors has played a part in the development of 
the state. 

Without doubt climate is one of the most fundamental of 
the geographic factors of a region. It may be such as to make 

1 An address read at the stated meeting of the executive council of 
the Minnesota Historical Society, April 8, 1918. 





development practically out of the question, as is the case in 
lands where low temperatures prevail throughout the year, or 
where extreme drought is perennial ; on the other hand, where 
the climate is favorable, some of its influences are often so 
subtle as to preclude their exact statement; sometimes, more- 
over, a given phase may be from one viewpoint decidedly 
favorable, and from another quite as unfavorable. 

It is not at all beside the mark to say that it was the climate 
of Minnesota and of the states to the east that brought the 
French explorers here so early. In the first place, the rainfall 
was sufficient to fill the many lake basins, formed as the result 
of geologically recent glaciation, so that it was possible to 
travel long distances by canoe. Then, the abundance of lakes, 
the presence of large forest and prairie tracts, and the long, 
cold winters, all served to furnish an ideal habitat for animals 
bearing furs of the highest quality. It was for furs that 
Radisson and Groseilliers first came into this region; on their 
return from their second trip, in 1660, they are said to have 
reached Montreal "in sixty canoes loaded with furs worth 
$40,000." From that time on until 1850 furs were the leading 
product of the region that later became Minnesota; and the 
fur trade, it should be stated, occupied a leading place here 
for a much longer time than any other single industry. 

The climate of Minnesota, by defining the length of the 
crop-growing season, together with the average summer tem- 
peratures, plays also an important part in determining what 
crops may be raised. In the early days the impression seems 
to have been abroad in the older states to the southeast that 
the summers in Minnesota were SO' short that in most of the 
years the staple crops would not mature. One can not help 
but notice how in the early numbers of the Minnesota Pioneer 
Editor Goodhue apparently went out of his way to show that 
the growing season is long enough for the maturing of crops 
in this state as well as in those farther south, and in California, 
which was at that time much in the public eye. 


Within my own recollection Minnesota was hardly consid- 
ered a corn-growing state; its right to be classed as an apple- 
producing state may scarcely be said to be proved as yet ; and 
no one claims for it any consideration as a place suitable for 
the cultivation of peaches and pears. The data collected by the 
United States weather bureau at Minneapolis show that, on 
the basis of the average date of the last killing frost in the 
spring to the earliest killing frost in the autumn, the longest 
growing season for Minnesota, a period of one hundred and 
sixty days, is found in the southeastern part along the 
Mississippi. The shortest season, found near the Lake of the 
Woods and in the northeastern part of the state, is just short 
of one hundred days. For most seasons one hundred days is 
too short for the maturing of corn. In these two facts we have 
an exact statement of the reason why that crop is confined to 
the southern part of the state. Though the growing season 
is too short in some parts of the state for the maturing of 
corn, it is, nevertheless, of such character that it produces a 
harder wheat and one that is richer in gluten than the varieties 
grown in most sections of the country. This same wheat has 
revolutionized the flour-milling industry and has been largely 
responsible for making the name "Minneapolis" familiar to 
millions of housewives the world over. 

Stories of Minnesota's long and severe winters probably 
kept many an immigrant from! coming to the state; but that 
result had its compensations, since only the most hardy ven- 
tured within its borders. The character of the winters kept 
the early settlers within or along the margin of the timbered 
areas because these were the source of the fuel supply. By 
the time the frontier had reached Minnesota, the value and 
fertility of the prairies and oak openings were thoroughly 
understood, and the problem' of breaking the tough prairie sod 
had been solved, things which were unknown to the pioneers 
of Ohio and of southern Indiana and Illinois. In this state, 
therefore, the prairies were the first lands to be brought under 
cultivation; with less prairie land the agricultural development 




of the state would probably have been less rapid. The climate, 
however, was partly responsible for the existence of the 
prairies as well as for the conditions that tended to keep the 
early settlers near their periphery. 

There are still other ways in which climate has played an 
important part in the development of the state, its influence 
being, in some respects, direct and unfavorable in character, 
in others beneficial ; but as most of these can better be discussed 
under other headings they will not be taken up at this point. 
One other characteristic, however, should be mentioned here. 
I refer to the great differences between summer and winter 
temperatures, and to the sudden changes not infrequently 
experienced within a period of twenty-four or thirty-six hours. 
The immigration of the virile people of northern Europe to 
Minnesota was in part due to its climate, since it is somewhat 
similar to theirs. Moreover, the climate tends to keep the 
inhabitants of a similar type. The tang of our cold winter days 
induces energy and vim, and the heat of summer is neither great 
enough nor of long enough duration tO' be especially enervating. 
Indeed, on the whole, its climate is one of Minnesota's most 
valuable geographic assets. 

The character of the surface of the land, whether it is rough 
or generally level, is a primary geographic factor. Particularly 
is this true in Minnesota, where the surface is so typical of 
its mode of origin and where the reactions to the surface con- 
ditions have been so characteristic. No one now questions the 
fact of the recent glaciation of the state. Before the coming 
of the glacier this region would probably have passed as a 
level country, but of greater relief than it now has. More 
significant is the fact that at that time the drainage lines were 
well established, and lakes and swamp areas were probably 
reduced to a minimum. How many major drainage lines 
there were and what courses they took is not altogether clear. 
The soils were largely alluvial and residual, and showed a 
zonal arrangement as an expression of the arrangement of the 
underlying rock. The glaciers, however, changed all this. 


The well-established drainage lines were entirely obliterated in 
many cases, and in others much altered. While no major 
relief features were developed, the surface was left pitted with 
numerous depressions, many of which are now the sites of 
lakes or of swamps. In many places the drainage lines have 
not yet become well established, and as a result the voyageur 
found passage from one river system to another a relatively 
easy matter, since it usually required only a short portage ; 
hence, his early acquaintance with our state. 

A glacier modifies greatly the character of the soil. It 
mixes heterogeneously the fine and the coarse, the alluvial and 
the residual soils, and the rock flour which it has made in its 
movements. Where limestone has been the underlying rock, 
the limey nature of the flour has tended to "sweeten" other 
residual clays that might otherwise be acid and not so produc- 
tive. Again this very heterogeneity is an asset. Studies of 
statistics show that glaciated regions generally have better 
soils, and are more productive than adjacent nonglaciated 
ones, and that they are, therefore, more valuable from the agri- 
cultural standpoint. 

We must not lose sight of the fact, on the other hand, that 
in its erosional and depositional effects a glacier may work 
harm. There were many places where the country was pretty 
well stripped of its soil, and because the time which has elapsed 
since the passing of the glacier has been far too short for the 
formation of a sufficient depth of residual soil, such sections 
are unfit for agriculture and must remain so indefinitely. In 
most cases, however, they will maintain a good forest covering, 
and that is the best use to which they can be put. Such lands 
are found principally in the north and northeastern parts of 
the state. 

Too much glacial deposition may at times be harmful also. 
It is not likely that the glacier destroyed a relatively large 
amount of mineral deposits. What it probably did do. how- 
ever, was to cover up and conceal deposits that might be very 
valuable were they known to exist. Their discovery may be 




merely a matter of time. Again, the thick deposits of till 
overlying the iron ore in some of the mines are not sufficiently 
indurated to permit of shaft mining and must be stripped, an 
operation which involves considerable expense. In this respect 
glaciation is a liability. 

During the time of the retreat of the edge of the glacier 
marginal lakes were formed; these have subsequently been 
more or less completely drained. One of them deserves special 
mention, since the former lake bottom now furnishes one of 
the most characteristic physiographic features of the continent 
as well as some of the best wheat lands. I refer to Glacial 
Lake Agassiz, which at its greatest height covered a large 
area in the northwestern part of the state. The deposits laid 
down in the bottom of the shallow lake are now the fertile, 
level plains for which the Red River Valley is so justly famous. 

In still another way glaciation has affected the develop- 
ment of Minnesota profoundly. It is axiomatic to say that all 
plant life of the area overridden by the glacier was destroyed. 
There was of course a southward migration of the various 
species in advance of the on-coming ice. As the ice edge 
retreated, there was a return migration of the plants in 
accordance with the changed climatic conditions. But as all 
species do not migrate with equal rapidity, we have the inter- 
esting phenomenon of some returning — shall we say to the old 
haunts? — ahead of others that were their preglacial fellows. 
Botanists tell us that some varieties of trees, as, for example, 
several members of the hickory family, have not yet returned 
so far north as present climatic conditions would warrant. 
Large forest areas of trees of the same variety are, for this 
reason, found here. In lands where there has been no such 
forced migration the forests are much mixed, and, as a result, 
lumbering is more difficult and less profitable. So far as ease 
of lumbering is concerned, the virgin pine forests of 
Minnesota have had no superiors and few equals the world 
over. Shortly after the Chippewa Indians ceded part of their 
lands east of the Mississippi to the government in 1837, the 


lumber industry became important. It soon rivaled the fur 
trade and later became the leading industry of the state, a 
position which it held until it was displaced by agriculture in 
the sixties. The highest point of the lumber output was not 
reached until 1905, when about two billion feet were produced. 
The industry will never again attain the proportions which it 
had in the year just mentioned; but, on the other hand, it 
will never die out. When the people realize that there are 
some thousands of square miles of nonagricultural lands which 
are best suited to forests, and when they demand a policy of 
scientific afforestation, a substantial increase in the lumber 
business may be looked for, and, moreover, it will then become 
as stable an industry as agriculture. 

With reference to animal life, attention has already been 
called to the fur-bearing animals found here as a reaction to 
the climatic conditions. The climate performs a further 
service to the inhabitants of this region in that it inhibits 
the presence of the malaria- and yellow-fever-carrying mos- 

Minnesota is fortunate, indeed, in that three great river 
systems of the continent, the Mississippi, the Nelson-Red, and 
the St. Lawrence, have their sources within its borders. When 
navigation was the chief method of transport, these streams 
afforded easy access from three different directions. Tt 
is significant that the first two authentic exploring expeditions 
within the present borders of the state entered by two of these 
waterways, that of Duluth by the St. Lawrence and that of 
Hennepin by the Mississippi, and that these men should 
actually have met in the vicinity of Mille Lacs in 1680. Later, 
when it came to the matter of establishing posts and perma- 
nent settlements, entrance was made by all three of these 
river systems. Aside from the soldiery and the employees of 
the fur companies, the first white settlers came by way of the 
Red River, but by 1850 the larger number of immigrants were 
arriving by way of the Mississippi, which, from that time until 
the railroads were built, continued to he the principal route of 




immigration. It was not until considerably after 1850 that 
the Lake Superior route had contributed more immigrants 
than that by way of the Red River. 

The falls and rapids of the streams have played an important 
part in the development of the state, since they determine the 
places of portages, in some instances the head of navigation, 
and, later, because of the water power, the location of urban 
centers. Of the latter two examples may be mentioned. A 
short distance below the falls of the St. Croix the first settle- 
ment of Americans within the state was made in 1838, and 
soon there grew up along the river a number of settlements, 
the largest of which was Stillwater. In 1849 these were out- 
numbered in population only by the settlements clustered about 
St. Paul. Again, the Falls of St. Anthony determined the 
sites of both St. Paul and Minneapolis, the former at the point 
to which boats could conveniently ascend, and the latter at 
the power site itself. It is now known that within another 
mile of recession the Falls of St. Anthony would have dis- 
appeared, and had this taken place before the white man 
came upon the scene it is quite likely that the metropolis 
of the state would not be found in its present location. That 
the early settlers appreciated the value of the then-undeveloped 
power sites is shown by the fact that within the shortest possible 
time after the tidings of the conclusion of the Indian treaties 
ceding the triangular strip of land between the Mississippi 
and the St. Croix rivers to the government reached the terri- 
tory, claims abutting the falls of the St. Croix were staked 
out. A little later claims on the east bank of the Mississippi 
at St. Anthony Falls were taken up. While the amount of 
available water power of Minnesota streams suffers in com- 
parison with that of most of our mountainous states, yet its 
character is of the most satisfactory sort, since the streams are 
generally less subject to fluctuations in flow. The many lakes 
and swamps prevent heavy floods in the streams, and, as a 
result, less heavy dams are necessary; furthermore, the con- 
sequent greater regularity of flow means less idleness of water 


turbines because of low water. Owing to the lack of 
mines within the state industries have been more or less hi 
capped by the cost of generating steam power. What this 
handicap has meant is well shown by a comparison of the 
development of the manufacturing industries of Minneapolis 
and St. Paul, the latter city depending on power from coal, 
the former using a fair percentage of water power. In 1914 
the output of manufactured products in Minneapolis was 
valued at $187,000,000; in St. Paul, at $68,000,000. What 
is particularly noteworthy is that at the beginning Minne- 
apolis derived virtually all of its power from the falls, and 
this gave it such an initial advantage over St. Paul that the 
latter never has succeeded in overcoming the handicap thus 
imposed. This single illustration may serve to show the great 
desirability of utilizing many of the remaining water-power 
resources of the state. 

No one conversant with the subject will deny the importance 
of accessibility, the ease of communication and transportation, 
in the settlement and development of a region. A considera- 
tion of this topic as applied to Minnesota shows several 
geographic factors, each exerting influences of major impor- 
tance. Reference has already been made to the lakes and 
streams as highways of communication. Upon them in sum- 
mer rode the canoes, pirogues, flatboats, keel boats, and, in 
later years, steamboats; in winter, in the early days, the frozen 
streams frequently furnished the roadway upon which the 
hardy traveler made his way from place to place. Before the 
coming of the telegraph St. Paul and points above had Little 
communication with the outside world while the navigation of 
the river was closed by the severe winter weather. It is said 
that navigation on the Mississippi was "not to be relied upon 
after the first week in November; and steamboats arrived in 
the spring about the 10th or 12th of April." The following 
quotation, taken from the Minnesota Pioneer of April 28, 
1849, illustrates the point : "During five months the communi- 
cation between this part of the country and our brethren in the 




United States has been difficult and unfrequent. A mail now 
and then from Prairie du Chien, brought up on the ice in a 
'train' drawn sometimes by horses and sometimes by dogs, con- 
taining news so old that the good people in the country below 
had forgotten all about it. . . . When the milder weather 
commenced, and the ice became unsafe, we were completely 
shut out from all communication for several weeks." To the 
extent that these conditions were known to the people in the 
older states, they undoubtedly acted as a deterrent to prospec- 
tive immigrants. 

The influence of the forests and prairies upon the lines of 
communication was characteristic. Usually the trails kept to 
the prairie stretches as much as possible, for the traders had 
not the time, nor were they disposed to expend the means, 
necessary to construct roads through a wooded country. This 
often resulted in the sacrifice of directness of route. Of the 
three routes from St. Paul to the Pembina settlement, two, the 
southern and the middle, clung to the open prairie practically 
all the way. It is not too much of a digression here to suggest 
that the peculiar type of vehicle known as the Red River cart 
is an expression of the level prairie region of the old Lake 
Agassiz bed. A cart built along similar lines has evolved in 
the level pampas of Argentina. 

The generally low relief of the state proved a valuable asset 
when the time of railroad building came. Construction was 
relatively inexpensive so far as the grading of the right of way 
was concerned. In addition the neighboring forests furnished 
ties and the best of structural timber at a low cost. It was 
under such conditions that, for the first time, railroads were 
pushed on in advance of settlement. 

It is generally understood that for a city to be situated on 
lines of commerce, or for such lines to run through a country., 
is a particularly valuable asset. Minnesota is most fortunate 
in this respect, for in it is located one of the principal cross- 
roads of the continent. The Twin Cities are at the focus of 
routes between the undeveloped empire to the north and west 


and the states to the east of the southern end of Lake Michi- 
gan. Since it is at the head of steamboat navigation of the 
Mississippi, St. Paul early became an important distributing 
center for this great northwestern country, and that distinction 
it still holds. When the upper lakes navigation became impor- 
tant through the digging and subsequent deepening of the 
Sault Ste. Marie canal, Duluth similarly became the entrepot 
for the northern part of the state. This section did not develop 
to any great extent, it may be remarked, until the shipment of 
ore from the Vermilion Range began in 1884. 

While it may seem a little far-fetched, principally because 
one does not think of it in that way, there is no doubt that 
architectural styles have been modified in some respects by the 
geographic conditions that obtain in the region. In the larger 
prairie sections there was a time when houses were built of 
sod, since lumber was not readily available. Besides, houses 
so constructed were cheap and made a pretty fair type of 
winter residence. As railroads came in and lumber became 
everywhere available, the frame building became prevalent. 
Only as lumber has become scarcer in the last decade has there 
been any general use of other building material for houses. 
The abundant clays in the state supply a fine quality of brick, 
and the rigor of the winters necessitates a "tighter" house 
than is found in most parts of the country. 

A discussion of this sort would not be complete without some 
mention of the high type of citizens in the commonwealth. 
One can not read the early history of the state without being 
struck by the high-mindedness of its pioneers. The establi ali- 
ment of this historical society is ample proof of the point. 
These pioneers had an abiding faith in the great future of the 
state they were shaping. Many of the things they hoped t"< >r 
have been realized, but there remains much to he done, includ- 
ing newer things they thought not of; and we shall do well if 
we "carry on" in the abiding faith that is our heritage. 

Ciiessley J. Posey 

The University of Minnesota 


Minnesota, the Star of the North. By Mary Vance Carney, 
Central High School, St. Paul. (Boston, etc., D. C. Heath 
and Company, 1918. xvii, 249 p. Illustrated) 

Of the several recent attempts to satisfy the need for a good 
school history of Minnesota, this seems to be the most successful. 
In the organization of the material, always a difficult problem 
in a work of this sort, the author has chosen a happy combin- 
ation of chronological and topical arrangements which avoids 
the annalistic effect and at the same time gives an impression of 
development. The first two chapters furnish the background 
for the history of the state in accounts of its geography and 
Indian inhabitants. The explorations and territorial transitions 
of the French and British periods are then treated, followed by 
chapters on the fur trade, American explorations, and missionary 
activities. An account of the beginnings of American occupa- 
tion and settlement is followed by a chapter on pioneer days 
which portrays early social and economic conditions. The nar- 
rative is resumed with the story of the establishment and polit- 
ical history of Minnesota Territory and of the transition to 
statehood. Two chapters are devoted to "Minnesota in the Civil 
War" and "The Sioux War of 1862." In the remainder of 
the book the topical arrangement predominates with the emphasis 
on economic history; and space is found for only a single brief 
chapter on the "Political History of the State." 

The author has, as a rule, selected the most significant topics 
for treatment, put the emphasis in the right places, and appor- 
tioned the space judiciously, although a somewhat fuller treat- 
ment of the period since the Civil War would have been an 
improvement. There is also recognition of the fact that Minne- 
sota's history is but a part of and inseparable from the history 
of the nation ; and in the preface the author suggests that "its 
study should be correlated with the general course in American 
history, or should immediately follow it." Most important of 





all, however, is the general accuracy of the work, both in 
interpretation and in matters of detail. While only occasional 
footnote references are given, it is evident that the writer has 
consulted most of the available material and has used it with 
discrimination. A few inaccuracies have crept in, however, 
principally as a result of attempts to condense a long story into 
a few words. For example, the impression is given that the 
Whig amendment to the bill for the establishment of the terri- 
tory became part of the law (page 142), whereas the real 
explanation of the Whig appointments was the passage of the 
measure on the last day of the Polk administration. 

The style is simple but spirited, and while not beyond the 
easy comprehension of students in the upper grades, the book 
could be used with profit in high school work and by mature 
readers who want a bird's-eye view of the history of Minnesota. 
Several maps and numerous illustrations "reproduced from 
photographs, or from sketches made by eye-witnesses," add to 
the attractiveness and usefulness of the work. The appendix 
contains a list of the governors, a table of important dates, a 
brief bibliography, questions and suggestions upon each chapter, 
and some valuable suggestions for supplementary work in the 
history of the local community in which the book may be used. 
With so satisfactory a textbook available, it is to be hoped that 
in the future more attention will be paid to Minnesota history in 
the schools than has been the case in the past. 

Solon J. Buck 

A Study of State Aid to Public Schools in Minnesota (The 
University of Minnesota, Studies in the Social Sciences, no. 
11). By Raymond Asa Kent, Ph.D., sometime assistant 
professor of education in the University of Minnesota. 
(Minneapolis, The University of Minnesota, 1918. ix, 
183 p.) 

In April, 1913, the Minnesota Legislature created a Public 
Education Commission to make an investigation of the public 
school system and public educational institutions of the state 
with the general purpose of effecting "economy and efficiency 
with respect to the several branches of public education." Dr. 




Kent, who was secretary to the commission, has made use of 
the data collected to produce this monograph, which presents 
a more elaborate study than the formal report of the commission 
to the legislature. 

Chapter 1 opens with a discussion of the problem confront- 
ing the commission : how state aid to separate groups of schools 
and to special departments of work has affected such schools 
or departments and their educational efficiency. A critical 
examination of the data collected, together with a statement of 
the method of the study, which, as the author says, is largely 
statistical, follows. Chapter 2 is an "Historical Summary of 
Legislation Affecting State Aid," in which it is shown that 
Minnesota has provided for educational purposes (1) general 
aid in the form of the current school fund, (2) high school aid, 
(3) graded school aid, (4) rural school aid, and (5) industrial 
aid. The statutes which are pertinent are quoted or summarized, 
and tables showing state expenditures under the various acts 
throughout the period covered are given. Chapters 3, 4, and 5 
contain respectively a consideration of special aid to high 
schools, graded schools, and rural schools ; in each case tables 
and text bring out such features as the size of corporate units, 
the attendance per pupil, the cost per pupil per day, the aid per 
pupil per day, the local school tax, and the percentage of state 
aid ; and a comparative study of these statistics forms the con- 
tent of chapter 6. Chapter 7 is devoted to special aid to indus- 
trial departments. The conclusions drawn from the study are 
stated in chapter 8. The high school board rules, the school 
laws passed by the legislature in 1915, and additional tables 
are contained in appendices. 

The study as a whole is a valuable contribution; it will aid 
materially not alone in creating a better understanding of certain 
educational factors in Minnesota but in affording general 
enlightenment in a field where practically no investigational work 
has been done before. Perhaps one of the most striking con- 
clusions of the author, certainly one on which great emphasis 
is placed, relates to the effect of state aid upon rural schools. 
While on the whole good results have come from state aid to 
high and graded schools, rural schools and the communities in 
which they are located have suffered as a result of such assis- 




J tance. "By encouraging the maintenance of the dwarf rural 
school," says Dr. Kent, "by having attached to its bestowal no 
conditions regarding enrollment, local taxation, local assessed 
valuation, and with extremely imperfect possibilities of checking 
whether the conditions presumed to be met have been met, state 
aid as it is at present distributed to the rural schools of Minnesota 
acts positively as a barrier to the advancement of the best 
; interests of these schools and their patrons. It is educationally 
pauperizing the rural schools of the state." The danger in 
connection with aid given to special industrial departments lies 
in the lack of a definite aim and of "adequate standardization 
in its distribution." 

The work is calculated to interest those who are trained in 
educational technology and in problems of school administra- 
tion ; hence it will make but small appeal to the layman unless 
he is willing to struggle through many tables that are not always 
explained in the clearest manner by the text. The style is 
marred by awkward expressions and frequently by unnecessarily 
| involved sentences. One or two slips in proof reading, as, for 
example, "62 per cent" for "82 per cent" (p. 94), make it neces- 
sary for the reader to perform arithmetical calculations in 
order to correct erroneous statements. The valuable and illum- 
| inating graphs would be more usable were one set of symbols 
selected and strictly adhered to in all those where the same 
elements are under comparison. An analytical table of contents 
partly but not wholly makes up for the absence of an index, 
and the bibliography at the end would be more valuable had 
the author added a word or two of comment, especially in the 
case of the secondary works cited. 

Lester Burrell Shippee 

History of Clay and Norman Counties, Minnesota; Their People, 
Industries, and Institutions. John Turner and C. K. 
Semling, joint editors. In two volumes. (Indianapolis, 
B. F. Bowen and Company, 1918. 543, 915 p. Illustrated) 

This work follows the plan upon which all recent Bowen 
histories of Minnesota counties are based and for the most 
part exhibits the merits and defects which have been noted in 




these pages in reviews of Bowen and other commercial histories. 1 
The first volume opens with a general introduction and a chapter 
on "Related State History"; this material is followed by a 
separate history of each county in the form of historical narra- 
tives, reminiscent accounts, extracts from official records, and 
statistical matter somewhat roughly divided and loosely bound 
together under such familiar topics as "Organization and County 
Government," "Agricultural Interests," "Bench and. Bar," and 
"Military History." The second volume is devoted to biograph- 
ical sketches, for the correctness of which in each case "the party 
interested" may be held responsible. 

Clay and Norman counties are situated in the valley of the 
Red River of the North, a region famous in early days as a 
part of the fur trader's domain and as lying in the line of travel 
and commerce between points along the American frontier and | 
settlements in far-off Canada, and equally well known in later 
years as a land of surpassing fertility. Unfortunately for the 
interest and distinctiveness of the History of Clay and Norman 
Counties the greater part of the detailed information given 
applies to the more prosaic period of some fifty years during 
which this region has been settled and developed, while the ] 
stirring events and activities of the earlier period are covered ] 
in a few brief paragraphs. The writer of the "Introduction" 
deplores this meagreness of treatment and ascribes it to the want 
of records and other sources of information. However justifi- 
able this plea may be, there is some indication that full use has 
not been made of sources generally known to be available. For 
example, the structure of the famous Red River cart is indicated 
as follows : "Certain it is that the Red river wooden-wheeled 
carts passed over the trail that was still visible a few years since 
through these two counties — Clay and Norman. The writer has 
seen in the historic museum at New Ulm, Minnesota, one of those 
old rudely, yet strongly fashioned wooden-wheeled carts. . . . 
The wheels are made from a single cut from off the end of a 
large tree. They measure thirty inches in diameter and are 
bound heavily by wrought iron bands, and are attached to a 
heavy wooden axle by means of a linch-pin." Whatever use 
may have been made in its day of the cart preserved at New Ulm, 

iSee ante, 1:378-386, 528; 2:36-41, 85, 184. 



it is certainly not one of those vehicles generally known as the 
Red River carts, as readily available descriptions and photo- 
graphs of the latter will show. In fact, the genuine Red River 
cart may be recognized in a description of so-called Indian carts 
on page 261 of the same volume. 

On the other hand, it is readily acknowledged that a great 
deal of useful information has been gotten together and made 
available through the medium of this work. The historical 
volume is unusually rich in the character and quality of some of 
its reminiscent accounts. Alvide Anderson, one of the woman 
pioneers of Clay County, recalls facts about pioneer days many 
of which are of the sort that too often go unrecorded as being 
too commonplace or trivial to be regarded as "history." The 
experience of A. O. Serum, a pioneer of Norman County, is 
frequently used to advantage. But most notable of all is an 
autobiographical sketch written by C. K. Semling, one of the 
editors of the present work. In this unusually interesting narra- 
tive Mr. Semling succeeds admirably in drawing, as he intended, 
"the picture ... of an average immigrant family of peasant 
folk, and the attempts of the members of this family to adjust 
themselves to the new conditions in this our land of freedom 
and opportunity, and to 'get on,' as you may say." Beginning 
as it does with the life of the family in Norway before its emi- 
gration to America and following its history from the period of 
its establishment in its new home in Houston County, Minnesota, 
to the time when three of the sons removed to the Red River 
Valley, the account is worthy the attention of all students of the 
settlement of Minnesota. Special attention may here be called 
to the motive which led to the coming of this family to our land 
as suggested in the following excerpt from Mr. Semling's tribute 
to his parents: "Loaded down with the struggle of life in 
Norway, they embraced the momentous task of emigrating to 
America with eight children. . . . Had they sought their own 
convenience; had they chosen to follow the lines of least resis- 
tance, they would have remained in Norway. They undoubtedly 
had in mind securing easier conditions for their children than 
had been their own lot." 

The publishers of this work have apparently entered upon the 
performance of a new and very important historical service in 




gathering and publishing as a part of their "Military History" 
available information relating to the part played by men from 
these communities and by the communities themselves in the 
prosecution of the present war. Too much emphasis can not be 
placed upon the future historical importance of such material; 
and it is to be hoped not only that a larger amount of similar data 
will be embodied in forthcoming county histories but also that 
the clothing of this information, which is at the moment a matter 
of more or less common knowledge, in the garb of history will 
serve to suggest to people generally the wisdom of collecting 
local historical materials relative to the war at the time of their 
happening, and of carefully preserving them in order that the 
completed record may do the several communities due justice. 

Franklin F. Holbrook 

The Taming of the Sioux. By Frank Fiske. (Bismarck, North 
Dakota, Bismarck Tribune, 1917. 186 p. Illustrated) 

This is an entertaining and instructive little book, giving a 
review of the history and transition of the Dakota or Sioux 
people "from a wild and warlike tribe to the present day Redman 
who loves peace and knows how to vote." The author is a young 
man whose home is at the old Fort Yates, the former Standing 
Rock agency, at the west side of the Missouri River in the south 
edge of North Dakota. He describes that post and agency for 
the thirty years from its founding in 1873 to its abandonment 
as a military post in 1903 as "the most important Sioux taming 
plant in the Indian country." He writes as one who knows his 
subject well, has sympathy with the Indians, but also sees the 
benefits of civilization. 

Chapters or articles most nearly relating to Minnesota are 
entitled "The Outbreak of '62," "The Campaign of 1863," and 
"Other Forts and Fights," covering the period from Sully's 
expedition in 1864 to the building of Fort Buford, "commenced 
June 15th, 1866, on a high bench of table land on the Missouri, 
nearly opposite the mouth of the Yellowstone River." 

Sixteen excellent full-page illustrations are supplied from 
photographs by the author ; and numerous drawings are inserted 
at the ends of chapters, contributed by Francis Zahn (Holy 
Star), "a part Sioux of great talent." 

Warren Upham 


The exercises for the dedication of the new building erected 
by the state of Minnesota for the use of the Minnesota Histor- 
ical Society took place on Saturday, May 11, 1918, the sixtieth 
anniversary of the admission of the state to the Union. The first 
session was held at 3 p.m. in the main reading room of the 
building and was presided over by Mr. Charles P. Noyes, pres- 
ident of the society from 1915 to 1918 and chairman of the 
building committee. The state board of control, which had 
charge of the erection of the building, was represented by its 
chairman, the Honorable Ralph Wheelock, who formally turned 
the building over to the state. The Honorable C. G. Schulz, 
state superintendent of education, responded on behalf of Gov- 
ernor Burnquist, who was unable to be present, and formally 
intrusted the society with the use of the building. The trust 
was accepted on behalf of the society by its president, the Honor- 
able Gideon S. Ives. Dr. Benjamin F. Shambaugh, superin- 
tendent of the State Historical Society of Iowa, spoke on behalf 
of sister societies, after which brief addresses were delivered 
by Dr. Warren Upham, archeologist of the society and its sec- 
retary from 1893 to 1914, and by Dr. Solon J. Buck, the present 
secretary and superintendent. 

At the close of the afternoon program the entire building was 
thrown open for inspection and hundreds of members and 
friends of the society, guided by members of the staff, made the 
tour through the offices, workrooms, stacks, reading rooms, 
museum, and galleries. The delegates and invited guests were 
then entertained at supper in the museum. Since the reading 
room proved too small to accommodate the audience in the after- 
noon, the evening session was transferred to the House Chamber 
in the Capitol. Here a large audience heard the inspiring dedica- 
tory address by Dr. Frederick J. Turner, professor of history in 
Harvard University. Professor Turner's subject, "Middle West- 
ern Pioneer Democracy," was both appropriate to the occasion 
and of special significance at this time when the nation is engaged 


in a war for the avowed purpose of making the world safe for 

Many historical societies outside the state and nearly all the 
historical, pioneer, or patriotic societies and higher educational 
institutions of Minnesota were represented by delegates. The 
exercises were open to the public, but special invitations were 
sent to a number of citizens and descendants of citizens who 
have played a prominent part in the history of Minnesota or 
have rendered special services to the society. Many of these 
invitations were accepted ; and the picture of those in attendance, 
taken on the steps of the building, shows a notable gathering. 
The large attendance from outside the Twin Cities was espe- 
cially gratifying. 

The society expects to publish in the near future a commem- 
orative volume containing an account of the exercises, the 
addresses in full, a description of the building, and other per- 
tinent material. 

The society had the privilege of taking a leading part in the 
entertainment of the Mississippi Valley Historical Asssociation 
at its eleventh annual meeting held in St. Paul, May 9, 10, and 
11, 1918. The superintendent was chairman of the committee 
on local arrangements and most of the members of the com- 
mittee were officers or members of the society. Five of the 
seven sessions took place in the Historical Building, the forenoon 
and afternoon sessions on Friday being held at the University 
of Minnesota. The members of the association were guests of 
the society at a reception following the president's address, 
Thursday evening, and at the supper in connection with the 
dedication exercises on Saturday. The society joined with the 
St. Paul Association of Business and Public Affairs and the 
Twin City History Teachers' Club in entertaining the visitors 
at a luncheon on Saturday. The luncheon on Friday was ten- 
dered by members of the faculty of the University of Minnesota. 
Other social functions, arranged by the local committee, were 
an automobile ride on Thursday afternoon, followed by tea at 
the University Club of St. Paul, and a smoker for the men of the 
association at the Minnesota Club, Friday evening. 


The attendance from outside Minnesota, about forty, was as 
large as could be expected under war-time conditions, and 
included several members from distant states. The visitors were 
enthusiastic over the new building. That they appreciated the 
entertainment provided is evident from the following somewhat 
flattering extracts from the note about the meeting in the June 
number of the Mississippi Valley Historical Reviezv, published 
by the association : "Among those who attended . . . the senti- 
ment seemed to be unanimous that the committee on local arrange- 
ments was deserving of the greatest praise. Everything possible 
was done for the comfort and entertainment of those present. 
. . . It may safely be said that the social functions were more 
numerous and better arranged than is normally the case at such 

The following new members, all active, have been enrolled 
during the quarter ending July 31, 1918: Clarence C. Gray, G. 
Arvid Hagstrom, Mrs. Charles Hauser, and Dora C. Jett of 
St. Paul ; William Anderson, Frances M. Morehouse, Mason W. 
Tyler, Frederick J. Wulling, and Jeremiah S. Young of Minne- 
apolis ; Edward W. Davies of Pipestone ; Freeman E. Lurton 
and David H. Turner of Crookston ; and Darius Steward of 
St. Cloud. The society has lost one member by death during 
the same period : Thomas Shaw of St. Paul, June 25. 

The May number of the Library Journal contains an article 
entitled "Minnesota Historical Society Moves into New Build- 
ing," by C. Edward Graves, librarian of the society. In it Mr. 
Graves describes in some detail the methods used in moving 
the library, the construction of the building, and the nature of 
the library collections. The frontispiece of the issue is a picture 
of the building. An excellent resume of this article appears in 
the Christian Science Monitor for June 5. 

The work of the manuscript department is now under the 
direction of Miss Ethel Virtue, formerly of the staff of the His- 
torical Department of Iowa. 



Mrs. Charles E. Furness of St. Paul has deposited with the 
society the two commissions by authority of which her father, 
Alexander Ramsey, served from 1849 to 1853 as governor of 
the newly created Minnesota Territory. These commissions, 
dated respectively April 2, 1849, and January 9, 1850, were 
issued by President Taylor ; the first upon his own authority, as 
the Senate was not in session, and the other, which confirmed 
and extended the appointment "during the pleasure of the pres- 
ident," and by and with the consent of the Senate. 

The sons and daughters of Colonel William Pfaender of New 
Ulm, through one of their number, Mrs. Charles Hauser of St. 
Paul, have presented two articles of historical interest. One is 
a letter written May 1, 1862, by Alexander Ramsey, governor of 
Minnesota, to William Pfaender, then lieutenant commanding 
the First Minnesota Battery, with reference to his official report 
to the governor on the battle of Pittsburg Landing. This letter 
and the St. Paul Press version of the Pfaender report are framed 
together. The other gift is a framed group of photographs of 
the four men who were the presidential electors of Lincoln from 
Minnesota in 1860: Clark W. Thompson, Stephen Miller, 
Charles McClure, and William Pfaender. 

General C. C. Andrews has recently made some additions to 
the collection of his papers already possessed by the society and 
has presented a set of forty-two photographs of scenes in Minne- 
sota forest and Indian reservations and a number of books, 
periodicals, and pamphlets. 

Mr. C. R. Bishop of St. James has presented an interesting 
original document entitled: "Statement of Expenses incurred 
by James Glispin, Sheriff of Watonwan County, Minn, in keep- 
ing, boarding, clothing and furnishing medical and Surgical 
accomodation to the Northfield Bank robber [s] while they were in 
his custody as prisoners from Sept 21 st to Sept 23 d 1876." The 
document was found among the papers of L. H. Bishop, who was 
an early settler in St. James. 




Governor Burnquist has turned over to the society a letter 
from Alan R. Hawley, president of the Aero Club of America, 
which came to him by way of the first aero post from New York 
to Washington. The envelope is stamped "Air Mail Service, 
Wash., N. Y., Phila. May 15, 1918. First Trip. New York." 

Through the courtesy of Mr. J. W. Dunnet and Mr. Charles 
P. Noyes, the society has received from Mr. F. W. Fahrenlock of 
St. Paul, a number of English parchments dating from the early 
years of the nineteenth century. They are interesting examples 
of the legal documents in use at that period and present a curious 
contrast to similar documents of the present day. 

Miss Eugenie F. McGrorty has presented a copy of the Per- 
manent Rules of the House of Representatives of the State of 
Minnesota (St. Paul, 1857) used at the first session of the state 
legislature by her father, W. B. McGrorty, a representative from 
St. Paul, whose name is stamped on the cover. Miss McGrorty's 
gift is a valuable addition to the library, as the society has no 
other copy of this rare publication. 

A file of the Minutes of the General Assembly of the Presby- 
terian Church in the United States, from 1889 to 1916, inclusive 
(27 v.) has been presented by the Reverend William L. Porter, 
stated clerk of the St. Paul Presbytery. This accession makes 
the society's file of this important publication complete from 
1872 to 1916. 

To Mr. and Mrs. Herbert C. Varney of St. Paul the society 
is indebted for an unusual collection of old newspapers and 
printed material. It includes a partial file of the Whip and Spur, 
published at Newport, Rhode Island, during the campaign of 
1840; a caricature of Andrew Jackson; the first issue of the 
Lozuell Offering, a literary magazine published in the forties by 
the women employed in the Lowell mills; two early catalogues 
of the People's Literary Institute and Gymnasium at Pembroke, 
New Hampshire; and other interesting papers and broadsides. 
The collection was found in the old Josiah Bartlett Wiggin place 
at Stratham, New Hampshire. 


A file of the Big Lake Wave, beginning with the first number, 
which was issued June 24, 1910, and extending through July 
31, 1914, has been received from Samuel L. Rank of Big Lake, 
the first publisher. 

The society has recently come into possession of a portrait, 
executed in oils by Miss Grace E. McKinstry of Faribault, of 
Henry B. Whipple, bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church 
in Minnesota from 1859 to 1901. The fund which made pos- 
sible its acquisition was raised by subscription among the Episco- 
pal clergymen of the state and personal friends of the bishop 
through the efforts of the Reverend George C. Tanner of Sea- 
bury Divinity School, Faribault, and the late Reverend William 
C. Pope of St. Paul. 

To the portrait collection has been added a large oil painting 
of Morton S. Wilkinson, the first practicing lawyer in Minnesota 
and United States senator from 1859 to 1865. The picture is the 
gift of his grandson, Morton S. Brewster of Wells. 

Miss Mary O'Brien of St. Paul, through the courtesy of her 
brother, Judge Thomas D. O'Brien, has presented an excellent 
oil portrait of her father, Mr. Dillon O'Brien. Mr. O'Brien, 
who came to the Twin Cities in the early sixties, is best known 
for his efforts in behalf of the movement to bring Irish colonists 
to the United States. Also, as an author and lecturer, he did a 
great deal to further the cause of temperance in Minnesota. 

An enlarged, framed photograph of Mrs. Angeline B. Hinck- 
ley has been received from her niece, Mrs. Claude C. Kyle of St. 
Paul. Mrs. Hinckley came to Minnesota in 1842 with her hus- 
band, Henry Jackson, who established the first general store in 
St. Paul, and served as the first justice of the peace, the first 
postmaster, and as a member of the first council of the town. In 
1852 Mr. Jackson assisted in organizing the townsite company 
which founded Mankato, and in 1853 removed to that settlement, 
where he died in 1857. Later Mrs. Jackson married John S. 
Hinckley, who was also one of the first members of the townsite 




Dr. Arthur M. Eastman of Minneapolis has presented a 
framed photograph of Mrs. Henry T. Welles. Mrs. Welles, 
whose husband was long prominent in the business and public 
affairs of Minneapolis and of Minnesota, came to St. Anthony 
in 1853. 

A large framed portrait of Simeon P. Folsom, one of Basil 
Gervais, the first white child born in St. Paul, and a framed 
group of excellent photographs, taken in 1858, of members of 
the "Old Pioneer Guard" of St. Paul have been received from 
Mrs. James J. Hill. Mr. Hill was a member of the guard and 
his picture appears among the others. 

Mr. Edward C. Gale of Minneapolis has presented through 
Mr. E. A. Bromley a photograph of George A. Pillsbury. Mr. 
'Pillsbury, who came to Minneapolis in 1878, was a member of 
trie well-known milling firm of Charles A. Pillsbury and Com- 
pany, and was prominently identified with various financial, 
religious, and educational institutions of the city and state. He 
served two terms as mayor of Minneapolis, from April, 1884, 
to April, 1886. 

A framed photograph of the late Charles Keith, a prominent 
lawyer of Princeton, has been presented to the society by his 
widow. At the same time Mrs. Keith donated to the museum 
collection an old flint-lock musket, which was one of her hus- 
band's most valued possessions. From data supplied by the 
donor and from inscriptions accompanying the weapon, it appears 
that it was one of five hundred similar arms made in Charle- 
ville Arsenal, France, and brought to this country by Lafayette 
during the Revolutionary War, another of the same shipment 
being preserved at Mt. Vernon. According to the signed state- 
ment of one Harriet Kester of Geauga County, Ohio, the musket 
was owned and used by her grandfather, John Kester, in the 
Revolutionary War. Mr. Keith, who purchased the weapon of 
Davis Brothers, Kent, Ohio, in January, 1910, has identified this 
' John Kester with one whose name and record as a soldier in the 
continental army appear in Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors 
of the Revolutionary War, 9 : 143. The musket is in excellent 


condition, with bayonet, ramrod, and flint in place, a charge 
alone being required to make it as formidable a weapon as ever. 

A collection of forty-seven photographs, consisting principally 
of views of St. Paul, St. Anthony, and Minneapolis in the fifties 
and early sixties, has been presented by Miss Ella Richards of fi 
St. Paul. The photographs were the property of her father, 
Edward Richards, who was for many years city editor of the 
Pioneer Press. Their value for historical purposes is enhanced 
by keys to the location of important buildings. 

Mr. A. A. Richardson, a Bemidji photographer who has taken 
great interest in the preservation of pictorial records of local 
war activities, has presented several excellent photographs taken 
by him at the first annual encampment of the Fourteenth 
Battalion, Minnesota Home Guards, held at "Camp Pershing," 
Park Rapids, from July 4 to 7. These include pictures of drills, 
reviews, the field hospital, and the staff. Such material is not 
only of great interest now but is certain in the course of time to 
become invaluable. 

The society has received from Mr. Lewis H. Delano of St. 
Paul a picture of the "Anson Northup," the first steamboat to 
navigate the Red River of the North. This steamer, which 
was originally called the "North Star," was built in 1855 for 
use on the Mississippi above St. Anthony. In the fall of 1858 
it was taken apart and transported overland from the Crow Wing 
to the Red River, rebuilt, and put into service for its first run 
to Fort Garry, May 17, 1859. 

An attractive little landscape showing Fort Snelling and the 
valley of the Minnesota River is the gift of Mrs. George E. 
Ingersoll of St. Paul. The picture was painted by Mrs. Robert 
N. MacLaren, mother of Mrs. Ingersoll, sometime during the 
period 1864-65, when her husband, Colonel MacLaren, was in 
command of the Second Minnesota Volunteer Cavalry stationed 
at Fort Snelling. 

A picture of the first ice palace erected in St. Paul has been 
presented by Mrs. William R. Weide of Madison, South Dakota. 
It was painted by John A. Weide in 1886. 




An addition to the museum which is attracting considerable 
attention is an old electric automobile presented by Mr. J. George 
Smith. Although brought to St. Paul less than a score of years 
ago, in June, 1900, this car was the first electric and one of the 
first automobiles of any kind in the city. It resembles a buggy 
much more than it does any motor vehicle of the present day. 
An account of the car containing a number of interesting anec- 
dotes and accompanied by a photograph appeared in the St. Paul 
Pioneer Press of June 23. 

From the Reverend Hugh L. Burleson, bishop of South 
Dakota, the society has received a fragment of the flag carried 
by the First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry in the first battle of 
Bull Run. The fragment was secured by the donor's father, 
the Reverend Solomon S. Burleson, during his rectorate of All 
Saints' Parish, Northfield, from 1864 to 1870. 

From Mrs. John D. Heaton of Annandale the society has 
received a rifle and powderhorn once the property of Frank 
Heaton, a pioneer of Middleville and Albion townships, Wright 


Of the twenty-five papers read at the eleventh annual meeting 
of the Mississippi Valley Historical Association at St. Paul, May 
9, 10, and 11, the following are of Minnesota interest or by 
Minnesota people: "Six Constitutions of the Far Northwest," 
by John D. Hicks of Hamline University; "Some Relations of 
the Upper Mississippi Valley with Lake Superior in the Civil 
War Period," by Lester B. Shippee of the University of Minne- 
sota; "The Collapse of the Steamboat Traffic upon the Missis- 
sippi : An Inquiry into Causes," by Paul W. Brown of St. Louis ; 
"An Undeveloped Phase of American History" (referring to agri- 
cultural history), by Herbert A. Kellar of Chicago; and "The 
Relation of the County Farm Bureau and the County Agent to 
the Collection of Local Historical Data Relating to Agriculture," 
by W. A. Lloyd of Washington. The annual address of the 
president, St. George L. Sioussat of Brown University, Provi- 
dence, was on the subject, "Andrew Johnson and the Homestead 
Bill." At the luncheon on the last day of the meeting an inspir- 
ing patriotic address on the war and America's part in it was 
delivered by Thomas F. Moran of Purdue University. This 
feature of the program was furnished by the Committee on Pub- 
lic Information of the national government. 

The Canadian government has recently established a Board 
of Historical Publications in connection with the Public Archives 
of Canada. The chairman of this board is to be a salaried official 
whose whole time will be devoted to the work of editing and 
supervising the publication of documents illustrative of the 
history of Canada in all its phases. The Dominion, with its 
archives department and building, was already far in advance 
of the United States in historical work; and that it should take 
another forward step at this time, when its resources are strained 
by the war, is evidence of an intelligent comprehension of the 
importance of history to the commonwealth. 

The Loubat prizes for the two best works in the English 
language published during the last five years in the fields of 





geography, archeology, ethnology, philology, numismatics, or 
history of North America before the Revolution have recently 
been awarded by Columbia University. Dr. Clarence W. Alvord 
of the University of Illinois received the first prize of a thousand 
dollars for his two- volume work entitled The Mississippi Valley 
in British Politics; and the second prize of four hundred dollars 
was awarded to Dr. Herbert I. Priestley of the University of 
California for his book entitled Jose de Gdlvcz, Visitor-general 
of New Spain, 1J65-1J71. 

The National Board for Historical Service has announced the 
results of the prize essay contests conducted in various states 
for the best essays by public school teachers on the subject, "Why 
the United States Is at War." The section of the announcement 
concerning the contest in Minnesota, as printed in the History 
Teacher's Magazine for April is as follows : 

"Contest in charge of Dr. Solon J. Buck, Superintendent, 
Minnesota Historical Society. 

"Committees of Award — Group A: Prof. William S. Davis, 
University of Minnesota ; John DeQuincy Briggs, St. Paul Acad- 
emy; President Marion L. Burton, University of Minnesota. 
Group B : Prof. John D. Hicks, Hamline University, St. Paul ; 
Chief Justice Calvin L. Brown, St. Paul ; Prof. Willis M. West, 
Grand Rapids. 

"Essays submitted, 29. 
"Group A: 

First Prize: R. D. Bowden, High School, Fairfax. 

Second Prize: Ruth West, 303 Washington Avenue, 
S. E., Minneapolis (North High School). 

Third Prize : Ralph L. Henry, Hastings (New Ulm High 

Fourth Prize: Rose Susan Guinn, 111 East Superior 
Street, Duluth (Denfeld High School). 

Fifth Prize: Clara E. Willard, High School, Cambridge. 
"Group B: 

First Prize: Anne Devany, 3707 Park Avenue, Minne- 

Second Prize: Frances E. Gardner, 1011 River Road. 
S. E., Minneapolis. 




Third Prizes: Lillie Iverson, R. F. D. 1, Glyndon (Dis- 
trict 82) ; Letitia King, Wendell; Delia Tomlinson, Hutch- 
inson; Isabel Hutchison, Alexandria; Walter J. Schwalje, 

For Group A, consisting of teachers in high schools, the prizes 
were seventy-five, thirty, twenty, fifteen, and ten dollars; for 
Group B, consisting of teachers in elementary schools, the 
first prize was seventy-five dollars, the second, twenty-five, and 
there were five third prizes of ten dollars each. The winning 
essays in each group have been entered in a national contest, 
the results of which have not yet been announced. 

Patriotic and hereditary societies in search of appropriate 
activities which will have permanent and valuable results should 
know of the fellowships for research in California history estab- 
lished at the University of California by the Native Sons of the 
Golden West. The first fellow was appointed for the year 
1911-12, and since then there have been two fellowships avail- 
able each year. The amount of each is fifteen hundred dollars, 
a sum sufficiently large to enable the holder to work in Spain or 
wherever else the sources of California history may be found. 
The fellowships have resulted in the discovery and collection of 
valuable materials and in the publication of books and articles 
which are significant contributions to the history of the state. 
They have made possible, moreover, the training of a number of 
scholars, some of whom will doubtless continue their research 
work in this field. The plan of the fellowships and the achieve- 
ments of the different fellows are set forth in an article by 
Charles E. Chapman in the April issue of the Southwestern His- 
torical Quarterly. 

An editorial in the American-Scandinavian Review for May- 
June entitled "Conserving Historical Material" calls attention 
to the work of the Minnesota Historical Society in building up a 
Scandinavian-American collection and concludes with the state- 
ment: "The Society ought to have the cooperation of all who 
possess or know of any old documents that will add to our knowl- 
edge of Scandinavian history in America." A discussion of 
"Writers of Swedish Life in America," by Oliver A. Linder, in 
the same number of the Review, will be helpful to the historian 




in search of information about social and economic conditions 
among these people. 

The three articles in the July issue of the Iowa Journal of His- 
tory and Politics are all of more than local interest. "Frontier 
Defense in Iowa, 1850-1865," by Dan E. Clark, has to do prin- 
cipally with measures for the protection of the northwestern 
frontier against the Sioux Indians and deals with the Spirit Lake 
massacre and the effects in Iowa of the Sioux uprising of 1862. 
W. W. Gist, in "Ages of the Soldiers in the Civil War," points 
out that there is no foundation for the statistics of ages which 
have frequently appeared in the press, and by a study of avail- 
able data relating to the soldiers of Minnesota and of typical 
regiments from other states, reaches the conclusion that there 
is no ground for the somewhat prevalent belief that the Civil War 
was fought and won by boys. Of the Minnesota soldiers, for 
example, he finds that over fifty per cent enlisted at twenty-five 
or older and eight per cent were forty or over when they entered 
the army. The third article is an interesting study of "The Influ- 
ence of Wheat and Cotton on Anglo-American Relations during 
the Civil War," by Louis B. Schmidt. 

The issue of Iowa and War for May consists of a sketch of 
"The Spirit Lake Massacre," by Dan E. Clark. This is based 
upon the manuscript of a book with the same title by Thomas 
Teakle, which is soon to be published by the State Historical 
Society of Iowa. 

Norsk Americaneran is the title of an interesting quarterly 
magazine started in September, 1916, by Martin Ulvestad of 
Seattle, Washington. It is devoted chiefly to material on the 
immigration and early settlements of Norwegians in the United 

Scott Burton, Forester (New York, 1917. 310 p.) is the title 
of a book by Edward G. Cheyney, in which he traces the college 
career of a young man who is taking a course in forestry. The 
book is of especial interest to Minnesotans because it deals with 
a profession in which this state offers unusual opportunities, 
and also because the scene is laid at the University of Minnesota 
and the university's camp at Lake Itasca. 




The fourth volume (volume 2 of the Text) of Thomas 
Hughes's History of the Society of Jesus in North America, 
Colonial and Federal (London and New York, 1917. xxv, 734 p.) 
embraces the activities of this order from 1645 to 1773. The 
student of northwestern history will be especially interested in 
that part of the work devoted to the Jesuit missions in Canada, 
which were at a high point of development during this period, 
and which formed a starting point for missionary movements, 
exploratory in character, in every direction. The movement 
westward to Lake Superior and the Mississippi Valley is all too 
briefly handled in pages 252-259. The account of the Iroquois 
missions and of the efforts put forth by both Canada and the 
English colony of New York to gain the alliance and friendship 
of these tribes — a contest which vitally affected the history of 
the West — has nowhere else been so exhaustively and vividly 
treated (pp. 334-434). Copious annotations, revealing a vast 
amount of scholarship and research, add authoritativeness. The 
documentary material for the present text is included in the 
previously issued Documents, vol. 1, parts 1 and 2, of this same 

Readers of "Captain Potter's Recollections of Minnesota 
Experiences" in the Bulletin for November, 1916, will be 
interested to know of the existence of a book entitled The Auto- 
biography of Theodore Edgar Potter (228 p). This was priv- 
ately printed for the family under the supervision of Mr. George 
C. Sprague of New York in 1913 and was unknown to the editor 
of the Bulletin until recently. The last five chapters are prac- 
tically identical with the "Recollections," lacking, of course, the 
annotations. A copy of the book, presented by Mr. Sprague, is 
now in the library of the Minnesota Historical Society. 

Under the title "1861-1917 War Calls Found Minnesota 
Ready ; Nation Unprepared," the Minneapolis Journal of May 5 
quotes at length from John D. Hicks's article on "The Organiza- 
tion of the Volunteer Army in 1861 with Special Reference to 
Minnesota," which appeared in the February issue of the 




The present year, 1918, marks the fiftieth anniversary of the 
founding of the University of Minnesota. The elaborate plans 
which had been tentatively made to celebrate this anniversary 
in a fitting manner were abandoned on account of the war, and 
:he occasion was marked only by a formal program at the 
Armory on the university campus on June 19 of commencement 
week. The addresses were given by the three former presidents 
)f the institution, each of whom, in turn, reviewed the history 
)f his own administration. The early growth of the university 
from 1868 to 1884 along the lines suggested by the broad and 
far-seeing wisdom of its first president was traced in a most 
entertaining and informing way by Dr. William W. Folwell. 
Cyrus Northrop, whose term of service covered twenty-seven 
years — the period of the university's most rapid development — 
:ontinued the narrative, emphasizing especially what he believed 
to be his most important contribution, the "popularizing" of the 
[university. Dr. George E. Vincent, president from 1911 to 1917, 
[sketched very briefly the events of his administration ; then, 
noting that "its semi-centennial . . . coincides with a turning 
point in the national life," he drew a vivid picture of the possi- 
bilities for service that are to be open to the university in the 
future. The three addresses are included in the June 24 issue 
of the Minnesota Alumni Weekly. 

To commemorate the closing of the tenth year of the school, 
and also the sixtieth anniversary of the year of the admission of 
Minnesota as a state, West High School of Minneapolis gave a 
pageant, "The Advance of Liberty," as a part of its graduation 
exercises, on June 13. In the libretto, written by members of the 
English department, Liberty calls upon the school to show what 
it has done for the North Star State. Each department replies 
with a tableau illustrating its contribution. The early history of 
the state was outlined by groups of Indians, of voyagcurs headed 
by Radisson, and of priests, led by Father Hennepin. 

At the close of the school year the pupils of the Clara Barton 
School, Minneapolis, gave an historical pageant entitled "Onward 
March of Civilization," in which the characters of Daniel Boone, 
David Crockett, and other western explorers played a conspic- 
uous part. 




Fifty old settlers of Hennepin County, all members of the 
Hennepin County Territorial Pioneers' Association, gathered at 
the Godfrey House, Richard Chute Square, Minneapolis, June 1, 
to celebrate the sixty-ninth anniversary of the proclamation of 
Governor Alexander Ramsey inaugurating the government of 
Minnesota Territory. Other old settlers' associations which have 
held meetings during the past three months are: Minnesota 
Territorial Pioneers at the Old Capitol, St. Paul, May 1 1 ; Kan- 
diyohi County Old Settlers' Association at Spicer, June 18; Old 
Settlers', Soldiers', and Sailors' Association of Fillmore County 
at Preston, June 19; Old Settlers' Association of Traverse 
County at Graceville, June 22 ; and Junior Pioneers' Association 
of St. Anthony at Columbia Heights, Minneapolis, June 29. The 
settlers of Warren, Marshall County, organized an association, 
June 23. On account of the war the annual meeting of the 
Stearns County Old Settlers' Association will not be held this 

The Junior Pioneers' Association of St. Anthony Falls was 
formed May 3, 1918, with Dr. A. M. Eastman as president and 
M. P. Satterlee as secretary. Membership is open to "all those 
who lived in old St. Anthony from the time of its first organ- I 
ization into a town (and afterwards into the city of St. Anthony), I 
up to the time it was taken into and became a part of the city of 
Minneapolis, which was on April 9th, 1872." The association 
held a basket picnic at Columbia Park, Minneapolis, on June 29. 

In the May-June number of the North Woods (St. Paul), in 
an article entitled "What Forestry Has Done for the Chippewa 
Indians," General C. C. Andrews, secretary of the state forestry 
board, outlines the specific advantages which the Chippewa have 
enjoyed through "the application of forestry principles in the 
disposal of their pine timber" during the last fourteen years. 

An account of Swedish emigration to the United States by 
Ernest A. Spongberg is running serially in the Duluth Posten, 
beginning in the issue of May 24. The installments so far 
published deal with the Northmen and the early settlements on 
the Delaware. 




Milton O. Nelson traces the beginnings and development of 
Swedish Lutheranism in Minneapolis in the May 19 issue of the 
Minneapolis Journal. Of especial interest is his discussion of 
the work of the Augustana Lutheran Church under the direction 
of the Reverend C. J. Petri, who has been its pastor for thirty 

In the section of "Old River Boats," in the June 8 issue of 
the Saturday Evening Post of Burlington, Iowa, there is printed 
a biography of Warren G. Wood, who helped to found and 
manage the "Diamond Joe" line. 

The St. Paul Dispatch of May 20 devotes nearly an entire 
section to a description of the Mesaba iron range, including 
articles on the origin, development, and present condition of the 
range towns of Hibbing, Buhl, Mountain Iron, and Eveleth. The 
section is profusely illustrated with pictures of the iron mines 
and of public buildings in the towns. 

'"Fortunes Restored to Victims of Indian Land Scandal," is 
the title of an article in the Minneapolis Journal of May 5, which 
deals with the history of the distribution of the lands on the 
White Earth Indian reservation. Pictures of a number of Indians 
on the reservation accompany the article. 

A description of the various ferries and bridges that have been 
used to connect the east and west banks of the Mississippi River 
at Minneapolis may be found in the June 13 issue of the Minne- 
apolis Journal. This is printed in connection with a notice of the 
completion and dedication of the new Third Avenue bridge, a 
picture of which accompanies the articles. 

The June 2 issue of the Minneapolis Journal contains an 
account of how an "Iowa Mill First Gave Minneapolis Flour" in 
the territorial days when the government mill at Fort Snelling 
was the only one in the region. A picture of the mill, which is 
located at Elkader, Iowa, accompanies the article. 

The Staples World of June 13, in connection with its account 
of the dedication of the Staples Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 
reviews the history of that congregation from the time of its 
organization, in 1890, to the present. 




Under the title "Historical Sketches" the Slayton Gazette in 
its issue of May 9 and 16 prints the history of the organizations 
of the various townships in Murray County and traces the origin 
of their names. The data for the article were furnished by Neil 
Currie, who was assisted by John H. Low, a pioneer of the 

A short account of the beginnings of "Catholicity in Minne- 
apolis" is contained in the April 27 issue of the Northwestern 
Chronicle (St. Paul). 


Vol. 2, No. 8 
Whole No. 16 
November, 1918 



These "Dakota Portraits," written by the Reverend Stephen 
R. Riggs in 1858, were published in the Minnesota Free Press 
of St. Peter at irregular intervals from January 27 to July 14, 
1858. The newspaper itself was a weekly, edited by William 
C. Dodge, and appeared for the first time on May 27, 1857. 
With the issue of November 17, 1858, its publication was, for 
financial reasons, temporarily suspended. In April of the fol- 
lowing year, however, the paper resumed publication under 
the name of the St. Peter Free Press and it continued to be 
issued until December 21 of that year, when the plant was 
destroyed by fire. 1 The last issue in the file of the Minnesota 
Historical Society is dated December 7, 1859. 

Because of his long residence among the Dakota Indians, 
Riggs was peculiarly well fitted to describe their characteristics. 
The sketches are written from his own personal knowledge, 
and present a number of persons who are scarcely known apart 
from his account of them. The author was a Presbyterian 
missionary to the Sioux. He was born in Ohio in 1812, a 
descendant of " a long line of godly men, ministers of the gos- 
pel and others," and received a good education at Jefferson 
College and Western Theological Seminary, Allegheny, Penn- 
sylvania. After he was licensed as a preacher, he was sent by 
the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions 
to aid Dr. Thomas S. Williamson in his work with the Indians 
of the Northwest. 

Riggs and his wife arrived at Fort Snelling to begin their 
labors in June, 1837, and spent the summer with the Reverend 
Jedediah Stevens at Lake Harriet. Traveling by Mackinaw 
boat and wagon, the missionaries reached Lac qui Parle the 
middle of September. For five years they worked among the 

1 Daniel S. B. Johnston, "Minnesota Journalism in the Territorial Per- 
iod," in Minnesota Historical Collections, 10:317 (part 1). 





Indians at that point and, with the help of Joseph Renville Sr., 
translated parts of the Bible into the Dakota language. 

In June, 1843, after a trip east, Riggs, with the assistance of 
Robert Hopkins, a new man in the field, opened a mission at 
Traverse des Sioux. At first the Indians, influenced by other 
tribes farther south, appeared to be inimical to the undertak- 
ing, but gradually the hostility wore away, and the native 
church increased its membership. Whiskey was always a 
cause of trouble, and in 1846 the missionary narrowly escaped 
death from the bullet of a drunken Indian. Men, women, and 
children were intoxicated for days. On several occasions the 
Riggs home was invaded, and violent demands were made for 
food and drink. Alexander G. Huggins was assigned to 
the station in September, 1846, and Riggs returned to Lac 
qui Parle to take the place of Dr. Williamson, who was trans- 
ferred to a new field with the Lower Indians at Kaposia. In 
July, 1851, Riggs acted as one of the interpreters at the Treaty 
of Traverse des Sioux, and he helped materially in explaining 
the terms to the Indians. The following year under the pat- 
ronage, and with the assistance of, the Minnesota Historical 
Society he published his Grammar and Dictionary of the Da- 
kota Language as one of the Smithsonian Institution's Con- 
tributions to Knowledge. 

Further changes in the locations of the Dakota mission sta- 
tions were determined upon after the Treaty of Traverse des 
Sioux as the Indians were gradually shifted to the reservations 
in the western part of the state. Dr. Williamson had chosen a 
new site on the Yellow Medicine River in 1852 which he called 
Payzhehooteze, and two years later Riggs followed him to that 
region. The Hazelwood mission with its companion institu- 
tion, the Hazelwood republic, situated some five miles above 
the Upper Sioux Agency, was organized by the Riggs party as 
a center for agricultural and educational work among the 
Indians, and as the Indian office reports show, did a good work 
in civilizing the bands near the agency. When the Indian out- 
break of 1862 began, the Hazelwood party came down to the 
settlements. Riggs volunteered for service and was commis- 
sioned chaplain to General Sibley's forces. The mission 




station, destroyed during the trouble, was not rebuilt, as the 
Indians were transferred to reservations in Dakota and Ne- 
braska. The missionaries moved westward with them. New 
men were sent to the field, and Riggs became an organizer of 
additional stations without a permanent mission of his own.